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Antares Services Pvt. Ltd vs. Commissioner of Central Excise - (Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal) (25 Jan 2024)

CENVAT credit cannot be denied on the basis that such availment was not reflected in ST-3 Returns

MANU/CJ/0011/2024

Excise

The brief issue to be considered in present case is as to whether the Appellant will not be eligible for CENVAT credit for the reason that the same was not mentioned in the ST-3 Returns filed and for the reason that credit has been taken after the prescribed period of six months or one year (from 01.03.2015). The Appellants submits that, the Department has not disputed the availment of input services and has not raised the issue of eligibility of the CENVAT credit. The only contention of the impugned order is that the credit is availed after the prescribed period.

Learned Commissioner finds that, CENVAT credit on input and input services can only be availed within a period of six month or one year (w.e.f. 01.03.2015) from the date of invoice and in the instant case, time period of one year has already elapsed and moreover, the Appellants have not claimed the CENVAT credit in the ST-3 Returns. The Tribunal in the case of Origin Learning Solutions Pvt. Ltd. held that, CENVAT credit cannot be denied for the reason that such availment was not reflected in ST-3 Returns.

Tribunal and High Courts have been consistently holding that, a substantial rate of eligibility to CENVAT credit cannot be denied on the basis of procedural violations. In the instant case, it is not disputed that, the Appellants have availed the services; paid the service tax on the same and are in possession of documents indicating such availment. Under the circumstances, credit cannot be denied only because it has been utilized late.

Moreover, present Tribunal find that the show-cause notice has been issued on the basis of third-party information. Though extended period has been invoked, no evidence of suppression, mis-statement, fraud, collusion etc., has been put forth. In the absence of the same, extended period cannot be invoked. The Tribunal in the case of Balaji Machinery held that, where the demand is merely on the basis of data obtained from Income Tax Department, it cannot be alleged that there was suppression etc. to justify the invocation of extended period. Therefore, the impugned order is not legally sustainable. Appeal allowed.

Tags : CENVAT CREDIT   DENIAL   LEGALITY  

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