Customs, Excise & Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT): Sulekha Beevi C.S., J. (Judicial Member) allowed an appeal wherein the refund was rejected on the ground of limitation.
In this pertinent matter, the appellant filed the request for cancellation / surrender of Centralized Service Tax Registration in Tirupur Range as they have shifted their business activities to Ahmedabad and had already obtained Centralized Registration Certificate in Ahmedabad. A reply was issued to the appellant by e-mail wherein it was informed to the appellant that their request for surrender has been approved by the department. Thereafter, the appellant discharged the service tax liability and filed ST-3 returns under the new registration number under the jurisdiction of Ahmedabad Service Tax Commissionerate. But, while paying service tax for the period October to December 2014, they mentioned the registration number pertaining to Tirupur Commissionerate in their challan for payment of service tax of Rs.3,07,838/-. After scrutiny, the error was observed in mentioning the registration number in the challan and requested that payment has to be made in regard to registration number of Ahmedabad Commissionerate. However, the department denied to accept their request and directed to make payment of service tax along with applicable interest and penalty again and furnish the proof of payment to the Ahmedabad Commissionerate.
Resultantly, it was held that though the department agreed that the earlier payment made by challan on the service tax registration number of the Tirupur Commissionerate was incorrect, they had neither adjusted the amount nor refunded the amount. Instead, the appellant had been directed to make the payment once again. Hence, it was clear that the department had collected service tax twice from the appellant, which not permissible under law.[Suraj Forwarders & Shipping Agencies v. Principal Commissioner of GST & CE, 2021 SCC OnLine CESTAT 2668, dated 10-12-2021]