Swachh Bharat Cess – Service Tax Changes for Housing Societies and Apartment Owners Associations

As per the recent service tax notifications (Notification No. 21/2015-Service Tax and Notification No. 22/2015-Service Tax), all organizations that offer services covered under the ambit of Service Tax, should charge an “Swachh Bharat Cess” at 0.5% of the service value from November 15th 2015.

Housing Societies need to collect and pay service tax at the rate of 14% for all members where the monthly collection is more than Rs. 5,000/- (Refer Jan 2014 Circular on Service Tax on Apartment Associations for more details). Other key aspects of interest are listed below.

Swachh Bharat Cess needs to be on a separate line item on invoice

From Nov 15th, the invoices need to have another line item called “Swachh Bharat Cess” charged at the rate of 0.5% value of the taxable amount. Based on our understanding, Swachh Bharat Cess needs to be charged separately on the invoice, needs to be accounted separately in the books of account and needs to be paid separately under separate accounting code which should be notified separately.

Swachh Bharat Cess paid for services availed cannot be claimed as Input Credit

Cenvat Credit Rules, 2004 determine if a tax / cess can be claimed as input credit. Howver, there is no amendment in the Cenvat Credit Rules, 2004 regarding Swachh Bharat Cess. In the absence of the same, Swachh Bharat Cess levied by the Housing Society vendors and paid by the Housing society cannot be claimed as input credit. So, at this point in time, this would be extra cash outflow on the society due to Swachh Bharat Cess.

What should you do in ApnaComplex to take care of this additional cess on the invoices you raise?

If your society is levying Service Tax, identify the best scenario that fits you among the below to know the steps.

Scenario 1: If you are using recurring invoice with automatic service tax calculations, you need not do anything. ApnaComplex is enhanced to charge this as a separate line item on the invoices raised after Nov 15th.

Scenario 2: If you are using recurring invoice with service tax as a calculated line item, you need add a new charge type with name “Swachh Bharat Cess” and move the same to Taxes accounting head in Chart of Accounts. Post that update your recurring invoice setup to add one more line item with net value equivalent to 0.5% under SB Cess head.

Scenario 3: If you are using manual mode, you need add a new charge type with name “Swachh Bharat Cess” and move the same to Taxes accounting head in Chart of Accounts. Now, go to Income->Add charges (or upload charges) with net value equivalent to 0.5% under SB Cess head.

In all scenarios, we would always recommend you to check with your accounting firm or auditor to ensure they are on board with your understanding.