Yoga and Meditation keep our body stress free. Is it free from GST????

Writer: CS Payal Kataria

Before the advent of GST, Charitable and religious organisations were not thinking their activities to be impacted by tax implication. But GST has made even religious organisations to think from tax perspective before undertaking any activity in their institutions and organisations. Sometimes they seek clarification with respect to ‘Parsad’, sometimes, income from sale of products such as booklets, magazines, DVD etc..

Very recently, Tax Research Unit of Department of Revenue has issued clarification vide Circular No. 66/40/2018-GST dated 26-09-2018 regarding GST on Residential programmes or camps meant for advancement of religion, spirituality or yoga by religious and charitable trusts.

Below points are highlighted in this circular:
 The services provided by entity registered under Section 12AA of the Income Tax Act, 1961 by way of advancement of religion, spirituality or yoga are exempt.
 Fee or consideration charged in any other form from the participants for participating in a religious, Yoga or meditation programme or camp meant for advancement of religion, spirituality or yoga shall be exempt.
 Residential programmes or camps where the fee charged includes cost of lodging and boarding shall also be exempt as long as the primary and predominant activity, objective and purpose of such residential programmes or camps is advancement of religion, spirituality or yoga.
 If charitable or religious trusts merely or primarily provide accommodation or serve food and drinks against consideration in any form including donation, such activities will be taxable.
 Activities such as holding of fitness camps or classes such as those in aerobics, dance, music etc. will be taxable.

Important lesson: Think before you do any activity through GST lens

Disclaimer: The contents of this document are solely for informational purpose. It does not constitute professional advice or recommendation of firm. Neither the authors nor firm and its affiliates accepts any liabilities for any loss or damage of any kind arising out of any information in this document nor for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Readers are advised to consult the professional for understanding applicability of this writeup in the respective scenarios. While due care has been taken in preparing this writeup, the existence of mistakes and omissions herein is not ruled out. No part of this writeup should be distributed or copied (except for personal, non-commercial use) without our written permission.

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