No GST on ‘Sarais’ operated by Charitable trusts: Govt.

New Delhi [India]: The central government has cleared the air regarding doubts about goods and services tax (GST) on Sarais (accommodations) run by religious or charitable trusts, saying it is not true.

“Certain sections of the media and social media are spreading the message that GST has recently been imposed with effect from 18 July, 2022 even on ‘Sarais’ run by religious/charitable trusts. This is not true.” the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) posted on Twitter as part of a series of tweets.
Based on the recommendations of the 47th GST Council meeting held in Chandigarh, GST exemption on “hotel accommodations” having room rent upto Rs 1,000 per day has been withdrawn, and are now taxed at 12 per cent.  Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, the foremost organisation of Sikhs, and several Aam Aadmi Party leaders, especially Raghav Chadha, had demanded a rollback in GST on such accommodations.

This clarification by the central government came hours after Rajya Sabha member Chadha on Thursday met Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to demand a rollback of GST on such accommodations, which also includes Sarais meant for devotes of the Holy Shri Harmandir Sahib at Amritsar.

On Wednesday, Chadha gave a suspension of business notice in Rajya Sabha to discuss the imposition of GST on such Sarais.

In another tweet, the CBIC said: “However, there is another exemption which exempts renting of rooms in religious precincts by a charitable or religious trust, where amount charged for the room is less than Rs. 1000/- per day. This exemption continues to be in force without any change.”

CBIC quoting reports stated that the three Sarais — Guru Gobind Singh NRI Niwas, Baba Deep Singh Niwas, Mata Bhag Kaur Niwas — managed by SGPC in Amritsar have started paying GST with effect from July 18.

“In this regard it is to clarify that no notice has been issued to any of these Sarais. These Sarais may have on their own opted to pay GST.”

This view was being consistently taken by the Centre even in the pre-GST regime, it said.

“State Tax authorities may also take the same view in their jurisdiction. These Sarais managed by SGPC may therefore avail the above stated exemptions in respect of renting of rooms by them,” another CBIC tweet said.

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