Service Tax registration for Freelancers (Bloggers)

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  1. mastertushar

    mastertushar New Member

    Hey Experts,

    I need little help. J

    I am Freelancer (Blogger- Running my blog, writing articles on it—getting traffic on it and advertisers are paying me for ads like Google Adsense) I don’t have any registered business with shop act.

    Since my turnover is crossing the 10L I heard that I need to register for Service tax number and then proceed to pay same. (My income is not under the Service tax— ii) It is export related ii)Generated via time based ad space sell( )

    ** My first question is that Should I register for service TAX number? If yes then can I do same without any shop act license?

    ** Second question is: --

    My all income is from non Indian sources + it is because of selling ads (space) on my website/s.

    80% Payment is received via PayPal and 20% via Direct bank transfer from US in USD.

    I searched a lot and found that there are lot of debates going on this topic. I mean Service tax is levied or not for such kind of earning.

    I read the controversies for following topics:

    1. Should ST levied on payment received via PayPal? -- -- In this situation is acting as payment gateway. Where client send money in USD to my PayPal and then PayPal convert it into the INR and send me money in INR. So in this situation there is issue about claiming the earning is export related one. I found one article: but still there are controversies among CAs.
    2. Since my earning is from i) Selling ad spaces from website and it is also ii) export related. Funny things it that both the things are exempted from the Service tax.
    1. Selling ad spaces on website is not under ST: Ref1: Ref2:

    So here I want advice that what should my CA/Me claim about my earning? Will that export related or from selling ad spaces in term of easy to prove in case needed. Also there is no way to prove that earning is from ad space sell. Since all the deals are done from email and it is easy to manipulate the email proof for anyone including me.

    PS: I discussed with few local CA about this but they seems little confused about this situation since they haven’t served such kinda clients.

    Your help will be much appreciates.
    Swapna T D likes this.
  2. Karan Batra

    Karan Batra Well-Known Member

    1. You can apply for Service Tax Registration without Shop Registration. You would only be required PAN Card and address proof

    2. Mainly bloggers are earning from Ad Sales only and the transactions usually happen over the email itself. So the email proof will suffice because that is what the Industry Norm is. The Service Tax department also understands that Bloggers usually earn from Ad Sales or Export related services and both of them are exempted from the levy of Service Tax.

    And if you are preparing some invoices which you are giving to your clients, keep a copy of the same with you as well. That would act as a stronger proof (in case required to prove in future)
    Swapna T D likes this.
  3. mastertushar

    mastertushar New Member

    Thanks a lot Karan Batra sir. I appreciate your help.

    As you said I can apply for ST number. But is that mandatory to do so and get the same? Or my income is not under the ST (Since it is from Ad space sales)
    ----- ----- ----------

    One off topic I want to put here about Importer Exporter code: Ref:

    I asked in bloggers friend group and found that less than 5% people having that. Is that not so necessary?
  4. Karan Batra

    Karan Batra Well-Known Member

    As your income is exempted from levy of service tax, it is not mandatory to opt for Service Tax Registration. And I wont advise you to opt for the same. It is advisable only when you are required to pay service tax which is not the case with you.

    I'm not sure about applicability of the IEC Code for Bloggers receiving payments through Paypal.
  5. mastertushar

    mastertushar New Member

    Thanks again. Your advice is really helpful to me.
  6. As per Income Tax Norms, the last date for filing Income Tax Return was 31st July, 2013(AY 2013-14) but we are still allowed to file our income tax return by 31st march, 2014.

    Certain provisions in the Income Tax Act still allow us to file your income tax return by 31st March, 2014 but with certain restrictions.

    The restrictions imposed if one misses the deadlines are mentioned below:

    1. No revision of return :

    Once the deadline has been missed, you will not be able to revise the returns. However, on filing returns before the deadline of 31st July, you get time till two years from the end of the financial year or assessment year, whichever is earlier.

    2. No carry forward of losses :

    As per Income Tax rules permit you to carry forward losses to the next assessment year. But you can't do so if you miss the deadline.

    3. Pay extra tax/interest :-

    When the return of income is filed after the due date, Interest u/s 234A will be payable.

    But if there is already tax has been deducted from the income of the assessee or advance tax has been paid by the assessee and there remains no tax to be paid after such T.D.S or advance tax then no interest is levied u/s 234A for filing the return after the due date.

    Also note that a penalty of Rs. 5000 may be imposed u/s 271F if the return of income is not filed with the end of the relevant assessment year.

    As such penalty shall be imposed if return for the Assessment year 2013-14 is not filed by 31st March 2014.

    If you miss the 31st July Deadline, you can still file your returns on or before 31st March 2014 (for. Financial Year 2012-13) i.e.. Assessment Year 2013-14.
  7. Corporate Summit

    Corporate Summit New Member

    I think you are required to get IEC Code because only following exporters are exempted from getting IEC Code:-
    i) Importers covered by clause 3(1) [except sub-clauses(e) and (l)] and
    exporters covered by clause 3(2) [except sub-clauses (i) and (k)] of Foreign Trade
    ii) Ministries / Departments of Central or State Government.
    (iii) Persons importing or exporting goods for personal use not connected with trade
    or manufacture or agriculture.
    (iv) Persons importing / exporting goods from / to Nepal,Myanmar through
    IndoMyanmar border areas and China (through Gunji, Namgaya Shipkila and Nathula
    ports), provided CIF value of a single consignment does not exceed Indian Rs.25, 000.
    In case of Nathula port, the applicable value ceiling will be Rs.100,000.
    However, exemption from obtaining IEC number shall not be applicable for export of
    Special Chemicals, Organisms, Materials, Equipments and Technologies (SCOMET) as
    listed in Appendix- 3, Schedule 2 of ITC (HS) except in case of exports by category (ii) above.

    IEC Code is primary document for Import and Export of any goods or services, other than List given above.

    Thanks & Regards.
  8. Chrishelle

    Chrishelle New Member


    Please can you advise on whether this exemption also applies to general writers/content providers who provide writing services, marketing (such as social media marketing and digital marketing services) as well since here there are no ad space sales and no export of services here in this case. If so and Service Tax Registration is required please advise if one needs to register as a business/consultancy firm of sorts as there is a field for entering 'Name of Unit' which is mandatory and which I understand to mean the name of the business providing the service. As an individual providing these services does one have to register as a business name/services provider firm mandatorily to be able to complete the service tax registration. Please advise. Thanks.

  9. Yatin Gandhi

    Yatin Gandhi Active Member

    @Chrishelle : If you are providing services to an entity located outside India - you can claim service tax exemption for export of services.

    If you are providing services to an entity in india - you would be required to pay service tax if the total services provided during the year are more than Rs. 10 Lakhs
    Chrishelle likes this.
  10. Chrishelle

    Chrishelle New Member

    Thanks. Do I proactively register for a Service tax registration then even if income is not currently over that limit but anticipated to cross that in the course of a full financial year? Or do I just wait till it crosses that and then apply? Also I read that the payment is due quaterly so in that case do I only pay in the month/quarter when it finally crosses that 10 lakh amount? Filing quarterly will still be required even if it's a nil returns or nothing payable situation yes?
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