What is service tax in India and how to apply for it?


Service tax in general means the gross amount received by the service provider for the taxable service rendered by him.Here service provider is the person who provides the taxable service on receipt of charges and is responsible for paying the Service tax to the Government. If the service provider is a Non Indian resident or who does not have any establishment in India, in that case the service receiver is liable to pay Service Tax.


Service Tax is an indirect tax levy imposed under Chapter v of the Finance Act, 1994 as amended.  The tax is applicable to services specified in the Section 65 & 66”.At present the rate of Service Tax is eight percent to be levied on the ”œvalue of taxable service”.

How to register for Service Tax?

  • All persons providing taxable services are required to register with the Central Excise department.
  •  Even if they operate from more than one premise but have centralized  billing at one place, it is enough if they take only one registration, if not then they will have to register at each place separately.
  •  Besides, only one registration is required even if an individual provides more than one service but from the same premises.
  • A prospective taxable service provider seeking registration should file an application in Form ST-1(in duplicate) before the jurisdictional Central Excise officer/Service Tax officer within 30 days from the date of notification of the taxable service.
  • Department is required to issue the registration certificate within 7 days of the receipt of the application.   In case of failure to issue registration certificate within 7 days, the registration applied for is deemed to have been granted and the assessee can carry on with his activities.
  • A service provider can pay service tax and file returns immediately after applying for registration and a mandatory penalty of rupees five hundred will be collected for any offence of failure of non-registration.

When a registered assessee transfers his business to another person the transferee should obtain a fresh certificate of registration.

I’m a tax expert with over 10 years of professional experience. I’ve gained practical insights on GST and other Taxes during my tenture as a Tax expert and GST Trainer in Reach Accountant.

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