18.01.2024: Online portals offering travel plans are tour operators: Appellate Tribunal

The Delhi bench of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal ruled that online portals that offer tour planning, including accommodation, are tour operators, upholding the appeal of MakeMyTrip (MMT) India Private Limited, which had availed a 90% abatement in service tax liability available to tour operators.

The additional director general, Directorate General of GST Intelligence, had argued that MMT India wasn't a tour operator as it was providing short-term hotel accommodation service and imposed a tax liability of ₹798 crore on the company. However, the bench of Justice Dilip Gupta and member (technical) Hemambika R. Priya held that “any person who is engaged in the business of planning, scheduling, organising, arranging tours, including accommodation, would be a tour operator”.

“We are glad that our appeal has been upheld in full, and our long-standing tax matter has finally come to the right conclusion,” said Mohit Kabra, group CFO, MMT India.

Source: The Economic Times 

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