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Decoding CBIC Clarification in Respect of Levy of GST on Director’s Remuneration

Overview:

CBIC (Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs), Government of India, Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue, GST Policy Wing vide Circular No: 140/10/2020 – GST, File No. CBEC-20/10/05/2020 -GST dated 10th June 2020 has finally come out with Clarification in respect of levy of GST on the Director’s remuneration.

Need of this Hour

  • Representation has been made by trade and industry seeking clarification whether the GST is leviable on Director’s remuneration paid by companies to their directors.
  • Doubts have been raised as to whether the remuneration paid by companies to their directors falls under the ambit of entry in Schedule III of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (hereinafter referred to as the CGST Act)

i.e. “services by an employee to the employer in the course of or in relation to his employment” or whether the same are liable to be taxed in terms of notification No. 13/2017 – Central Tax (Rate) dated 28.06.2017 (entry no.6).

Issue Examined by CBIC:

The issue of remuneration to directors has been examined under following two different categories:

  1. The liability of GST on remuneration paid by companies to the independent directors defined in terms of section 149(6) of the Companies Act, 2013 or those directors who are not the employees of the said company; and
  2. The Liability of GST on remuneration paid by companies to the whole-time directors including the managing directors who are employees of the said company.

Clarification by CBIC:

In exercise of its powers conferred under section 168(1) of the CGST Act, CBIC hereby clarifies the issue as below  to ensure uniformity in the implementation of the provisions of the law across the field formations:

Liability of GST on remuneration paid by companies to the independent directors or those directors who are not the employee of the said company

The primary issue to be decided is whether or not a Director is an employee of the company.

In this regard, from the perusal of the relevant provisions of the Companies Act, 2013, it can be inferred that:

  1. The definition of a whole time-director under section 2(94) of the Companies Act, 2013 is an inclusive definition, and thus he may be a person who is not an employee of the company.
  2. The definition of „independent directors‟ under section 149(6) of the Companies Act, 2013, read with Rule 12 of Companies (Share Capital and Debentures) Rules, 2014 makes it amply clear that such director should not have been an employee or proprietor or a partner of the said company, in any of the three financial years immediately preceding the financial year in which he is proposed to be appointed in the said company.

In respect of such directors who are not the employees of the said company,

  • The services provided by them to the Company, in lieu of remuneration as the consideration for the said services, are clearly outside the scope of Schedule III of the CGST Act and are therefore taxable.
  • In terms of entry at Sl. No. 6 of the Table annexed to notification No. 13/2017 – Central Tax (Rate) dated 28.06.2017, the recipient of the said services i.e. the Company, is liable to discharge the applicable GST on it on reverse charge basis.

The remuneration paid to independent directors

It is hereby clarified that the remuneration paid to such independent directors, or those directors, by whatever name called, who are not employees of the said company, is taxable in hands of the company, on reverse charge basis.

Leviability of GST on remuneration paid by companies to the directors, who are also an employee of the said company

  • It would be pertinent to examine whether all the activities performed by the director are in the course of employer-employee relation (i.e. a “contract of service”) or is there any element of “contract for service”, post ascertained whether a director, irrespective of name and designation, is an employee,
  • A director who has also taken employment in the company may be functioning in dual capacities, namely, one as a director of the company and the other on the basis of the contractual relationship of master and servant with the company, i.e. under a contract of service (employment) entered into with the company.
  • Treatment of the Director’s remuneration is also present in the Income Tax Act, 1961 wherein the salaries paid to directors are subject to Tax Deducted at Source (‘TDS’) under Section 192 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (‘IT Act’).
  • In cases where the remuneration is in the nature of professional fees and not salary, the same is liable for deduction under Section 194J of the IT Act.
  • The part of Director’s remuneration which is declared as „Salaries‟ in the books of a company and subjected to TDS under Section 192 of the IT Act is not taxable being consideration for services by an employee to the employer in the course of or in relation to his employment in terms of Schedule III of the CGST Act, 2017
  • Further clarified that the part of employee Director’s remuneration which is declared separately other than „salaries‟ in the Company’s accounts and subjected to TDS under Section 194J of the IT Act as Fees for professional or Technical Services shall be treated as consideration for providing services which are outside the scope of Schedule III of the CGST Act, and is, therefore, taxable.
  • Further, in terms of notification No. 13/2017 – Central Tax (Rate) dated 28.06.2017, the recipient of the said services i.e. the Company, is liable to discharge the applicable GST on it on reverse charge basis.

Link of the order copy:

https://cbic-gst.gov.in/pdf/Circular-GIC-Approval-Director-Renumeration.pdf

https://cbic-gst.gov.in/circulars.html

Disclaimer: IN NO EVENT THE AUTHOR SHALL BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGE RESULTING FROM OR ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OF THIS INFORMATION.

CS Lalit Rajput TaxClue
CS Lalit Rajputhttp://enlightengovernance.blogspot.com/
Company Secretary having 5 years of post-qualification experience in the Compliance Management Services industry by serving Corporates including Listed Companies, Corporate Secretarial Firms, and LLP.

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