Single or Multiple Registration ?
Registration of Service Provider:
When a person provides single taxable service from one premises/office, he is required to seek registration with the service tax authorities having jurisdiction over the area where his premises statute.
This is the simplest business situation, there may be cases where the assessee provides more than one service or has more than one office or works under more than one name.
Registration requirements in such cases have been discussed below under following heads:
(i) Assessee has more than one proprietorship firm in different names.
(ii) Assessee provides/receives more than one taxable service.
(iii) Assessee provides one or more than one taxable service from different premises or offices.
A service provider may have more than one sole proprietorship firm in different names, though he remains the owner in all the cases. All these sole proprietorships may render different taxable services from the same premises. In such a case, the service provider shall obtain separate registration for each of such sole proprietorship.
If the assessee provides more than one taxable service (i.e. multiple taxable services), he may make a single application, mentioning therein all the taxable services provided by him. [Rule 4(4) of Service Tax Rules, 1994]
Certificate of Registration in Form ST-2 should also indicate the details of all he taxable services provided by the service provider.
Such assessee may have a centralised billing or accounting system or may not have centralised systems at all.
Under centralised billing system, bills are raised from the main office (may be regional office or head office) whereas services are provided from different offices or premises throughout the country. No single branch raises the bill for the services provided by it but the same is intimated to the main office which handles the raising of bills.
Under centralised accounting system, bills are raised from various branches of the assessee but are accounted for at one office where the centralised accounting system is located. Thus, all the branches are permitted to raise their own bills for rendering the service to the clients but the accounting of the bills is done at a single office.
When the assessee does not have either centralised billing or centralised accounting system, he is required to make separate application for registration in respect of each of such premises or offices to the jurisdictional Superintendent of Central Excise and obtain separate registrations. [Rule 4(3A) of Service Tax Rules, 1994]
However, in case the assessee maintains centralised billing or centralised accounting system, he has an option to register such premises or offices where such centralised billing or centralised accounting systems are maintained. [Rule 4(2) of Service Tax Rules, 1994]
Disclaimer – No assurance is given that the revenue authorities/courts will concur with the views expressed herein. My views are based on the existing provisions of law and its interpretation, which are subject to change from time to time. I do not assume responsibility to update the views consequent to such changes. The views are for the general use by public at large and the author does not undertake any responsibility for the use / misuse of the same or any damage that may be caused because of such use / misuse. It is strongly recommended that before implementing any of the above options, the subject matter expert be consulted.