Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Effluent couldn't be regarded as goods; its transportation through pipeline not liable to service tax


Movable property in general trade parlance is considered as a property in goods which can fetch certain price; hence, effluent waste, which is not being purchased by any person, cannot be regarded as 'goods' and transport thereof through pipeline cannot be charged to service tax.

Assessee was providing services of transportation/disposal of 'effluent waste' through its pipeline or conduit on certain consideration. Department demanded service tax thereon under Section 65(105)(zzz).

Section 65(105)(zzz) reads as under:

'Taxable service' means any service provided or to be provided to any person by any other person, in relation to transportation of goods other than water, through pipeline or other conduct.

Assessee argued that effluent waste is not goods; hence, service is not taxable.

Tribunal held in favour of assessee as under:

As per definition of 'goods' given in Section 65(50) of the Finance Act, 1994 the meaning of 'goods' for the purpose of Service Tax law has to be as assigned in Clause (7) of Section 2 of the Sale of Goods Act, 1930.

As per the provisions of Section 2(7) of Sale of Goods Act, 1930 the goods has to be a category of 'movable property'. Movable property in general trade parlance is considered as a property in goods which can fetch certain price.

In the present facts and circumstances of the case the effluent discharge facility is for disposal of a waste which is not being purchased by any person but is only being disposed of by utilizing the services of the appellant. As the relevant facilities/services of transportation provided by appellant are not for the 'goods' as defined in Section 2(7) of the Sale of Goods Act, 1930, the same cannot be considered as a service provided for transportation of goods, hence not taxable - Gujarat State Fertilizers And Chemicals Ltd. v. Commissioner of Central Excise, Vadodara [2015] 56 taxmann.com 448 (Ahmedabad - CESTAT).

Editor's note:

Under present law, if waste is not 'goods', transport thereof is taxable because negative list contains transport of 'goods' only.
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