Bombay High Court Stays Demand Notice Seeking Service Tax From Advocate For Granting Legal Services

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The Bombay High Court has stayed a demand notice issued by the Assistant Commissioner of Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST), seeking to levy service tax upon an Advocate.

A Division Bench comprising of Justices Ujjal Bhuyan and Milind N. Jadhav issued notice to the Assistant Commissioner, and in the meanwhile granted interim relief to the Petitioner-Advocate.

“Respondents may file reply affidavit by the returnable date…

Having heard learned counsel for the petitioner and on due consideration, we direct as an interim measure, there shall be stay of the impugned show cause cum demand notice dated 28.12.2020 until further orders,” the order read.

The bench was presiding over a writ petition filed by a Mumbai based Advocate, Sanjiv Madhusudan Shah. He had challenged the show cause cum demand notice issued to him by the Authority, for payment of service tax for the financial year 2014-15.

The Petitioner averred that the notice is unwarranted in view of several exemption notifications issued by the Central Government, whereby services provided by an individual as an advocate or as a partnership firm of advocates by way of legal services are exempted from the charge of service tax.

That apart, he submitted that there is a provision for recovering service tax from the service recipient. Ignoring the above, the impugned show cause cum demand notice has been issued mechanically.

The matter is now fixed for hearing on March 15.

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