The Delhi High Court has directed the government to refund Vodafone Idea Limited (Vi) the integrated tax of Rs 71.2 million which was paid on the export of international roaming and long-distance services. The court said that these services, rendered to foreign telecom operators for their subscribers during their visit to India, would be treated as export of services.
The key issue before the court was whether the telecom services provided by the petitioner (Vi) to inbound subscribers of foreign telecom operators constituted export of services and whether its claims were within the period of limitation as specified under Section 54(1) of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act.
A division bench of Justices Vibhu Bakru and Amit Mahajan said that there is no cavil that the decisions rendered on the question of export of services in the context of Rule 3 of the Export of Services Rules, 2005 (Export without payment of service tax) are also applicable to the issue in question. The court laid down that international inbound roaming services and international long-distance services to foreign telecom operators by virtue of the International Roaming Agreement are export of services and are therefore a zero-rated supply.