Friday, 30 December 2016

CESTAT : Affirms taxation of catering services rendered by Co.'s co-operative society to employee-members

CESTAT affirms taxation of catering services provided by assessee, a registered cooperative society, from the premises of L&T to its employees u/s 65(105)(zzt) of Finance Act; Notes that L&T has statutory obligation under Factories Act to provide culinary service and in this regard, established a cooperative society comprising of employees as also company itself for operating the canteen, and consideration for meal was paid in tandem by consumer and employer; Whether food articles were provided free of cost or at subsidized rates or at market prices, was a matter of labour-employer negotiations and it was clear that without the concurrence of L&T, assessee could neither engage in activity of running canteen nor decide rates of food articles or composition of individuals to be served; Holding assessee as ‘service provider’, CESTAT found that it operates from campus of L&T, thereby satisfying all requirements of taxability u/s 65(105)(zzt); Relies on coordinate bench ruling in Alfa Laval (India) Ltd Employees Co-operative Consumers Society case while rejecting assessee’s claim of mutuality, opines that society and its membership was not germane to contract between L&T and assessee for engaging latter as caterer : Mumbai CESTAT

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