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July 12, 2022

GST levied by educational boards on the printing of exam papers, OMR sheets, and answer books

by CA Shivam Jaiswal in Income Tax

GST levied by educational boards on the printing of exam papers, OMR sheets, and answer books

Facts and Issue of the Case

The facts of the case are that the M/s. Universal Print Systems (applicant) is engaged in the business of printing including high end security printing products from the year 2011. The Applicant claims that complete end to end solutions are provided for the customer right from designing to the delivery in mass quantity. The Applicant uses the paper and ink, that too as per the approval by the customer in respect of quality as required as per the approved design and deliver the products to specific customer and as such the products designed and printed as per requirements of a particular customer cannot be delivered to any other person.

The Appellant conducts his business by printing the required material as per the designs provided/approved by the customers on the printing medium as required by the customers. The applicant claims that the printing activity in the present case is also combined with security features in many products like cheque books so as to prevent misuse by forgery/replication by unauthorized persons. Further, the Applicant is also engaged in printing cheque books, fixed Deposit Receipts, Policy Bonds, Seed Certificates, which are to be provided by the banks/financial institutions/LIC of India/ Government Seed Organization strictly to their customers and thus, this activity is also done as per the design/pattern/data being provided by the customer along with the approved size/paper quality etc.

In the light of the above new developments, the Applicant approached this Authority seeking clarification with regard to classification of the products and applicability of notification for considering the applicable tax rate. The applicant had filed an application in form GST ARA-01 by paying required amount of fee.

The Applicant seeks clarification with regard to classification of the products and applicability of notification for considering the tax rate applicable.

  • Whether Printing of Pre examination items like question papers, OMR sheets (Optical Mark Reading), Answer booklets for conducting of an examination by the educational boards be treated as exempted supply of service in terms of Serial Number 66 of Notification NO.12/2017-CGST[Rate] dated 28-6-2017 as amended?
  • Whether Printing of Post examination items like marks card, grade card, certificates to Educational Boards (up to higher secondary) after scanning of DMR Sheets and processing of data in relation to conduct of an examination be treated as exempted supply of service by virtue of in terms of Serial Number 66 of Notification No.12/2017-CGST[Rate] dated 28-6-2017 as amended?
  • (iii) Whether Scanning and processing of results of examinations be treated as exempted supply of service by virtue of in terms of Serial Number 66 of Notification NO.12/2017-CGST [Rate] dated 28-6-2017 as amended?

On Verification of basic information of the applicant, it is observed that the applicant is under Central jurisdiction. Accordingly, the application has been forwarded to the jurisdictional officer and a copy marked to the State Tax Authorities to offer their remarks as per Sec. 98(1) of CGST /APGST Act 2017. Remarks are received from State Tax authorities mentioning that no issues are pending with reference to the subject matter of the Ruling.

Observation by the court

The court had examined the submissions made by the applicant in their application and the assertions made by the authorized representative as well at the time of virtual Hearing.

Even though the applicant is engaged in a plethora of activities and deliver different kinds of product the point of discussion had been confined to the products related to conduct of examinations only. As the applicant approached this authority only with reference to the conduct of examinations, the court  focus on the same.

In the instant case, the educational institutions as referred to by the applicant for whom the supplies of the services of printing of examination related material are made/ intended to be made are Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, Satavahana University, Board of Secondary Education, Andhra Pradesh; Krishna University, Board of Higher Secondary Examination, Government of Kerala and Dr B R Ambedkar Open University. All these institutions invariably fall under the category of “educational institution” as they fulfil the criterion of ‘institution providing services by way of,- (ii) education as a part of a curriculum for obtaining a qualification recognised by any law for the time being in force.

Conclusion

Question: Whether printing of Pre examination items like question papers, OMR sheets (Optical Mark Reading), Answer booklets for conducting of an examination by the educational boards be treated as exempted supply of service in terms of Serial Number 66 of Notification NO.12/2017-CGST[Rate] dated 28-6-2017 as amended?

Answer: Affirmative

Question: Whether printing of Post examination items like marks card, grade card, certificates to educational boards (up to higher secondary) after scanning of OMR Sheets and processing of data in relation to conduct of an examination be treated as exempted supply of service by virtue of in terms of Serial Number 66 of Notification No.12/2017-CGSTIRate] dated 28-6-2017 as amended?

Answer: Affirmative

Question Whether scanning and processing of results of examinations be treated as

exempted supply of service by virtue of in terms of Serial Number 66 of

Notification NO.12/2017-CCST[Rate] dated 28-6-2017 as amended,

Answer: Affirmative

GST-levied-by-educational-boards-on-the-printing-of-exam-papers-OMR-sheets-and-answer-books

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