Top Story

e4m_logo.png

Home >> Digital >> Article

Search engines selling ad space may be taxed

22-December-2005
Font Size   16
Share
Search engines selling ad space may be taxed

Google Online India told to pay service tax by Authority for Advance Rulings.

The Authority for Advance Rulings has said that Google Online India Pvt Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of US-based Google International LLC, will have to pay service tax for selling advertisement space on its search site to Indian entities. This can set a precedent for search engines with offices in India falling in the ambit of the tax.

The advance ruling last week noted that the proposed activity of Google India to sell space on its site tantamount to providing a service to advertisers and clients. “From this angle, the applicant will be covered by the definition of advertising agency,” it said.

When contacted, Google executives said they were still examining the ruling and did not wish to comment on it.

A ruling by the advance authority is binding on the company with immediate effect unless it decides to appeal against the verdict.

The search engine had approached the Advance Ruling Authority in August this year, seeking clarifications on whether providing selling space for advertisement on the Google website would be exempt from service tax or was classifiable as advertisement service, computer network service, business auxiliary service or any other taxable service.

In its application, Google had said the service it proposed to provide did not attract service tax. The company had argued that it was not providing any service involving “making and display of advertisements but was merely engaged in space-selling activity” on Google’s own website and other websites with which it had entered into a syndication agreement.

The Commissionerate of Service Tax, in its argument, pointed out that the definition of advertisement space was wide enough to include providing of advertisement service on the Internet by the applicant.

“Even mere providing or selling of space for advertisement is itself a service connected with display or exhibition of advertisements and hence will fall within the tax net as advertisement service,” the commissionerate said.

The advance ruling authority pointed out that the finance ministry, in 1996, had made it clear in the context of the “advertising agency” definition to the effect that “the scope of the service which is included in the tax net, extends to not only any service connected with the making and preparation of advertisements but also includes services connected with display or exhibition of advertisements.”

Tags

In this week's chillout, Gupta shares her weekend routine that not only helps her deal with the high stress of corporate life but also allows her to create some cherished memories. Read on…

NP Singh, CEO of Sony Pictures Networks India, talks of SPN’s growth drivers, pay wall for content, sharing IP and more…

The future of the industry will be 1:1 advertising as traditional channels, like television, become more addressable: Bryan Kennedy, Epsilon

The Founder of Pocket Aces shared his insights on how the consumption of content has evolved and how digital media is growing as the preferred medium of entertainment.

Nikhil Kumar will report to Paritosh Srivastava, COO, Publicis India

On the back of resounding success of its maiden work for Motilal Oswal, Mullen Lintas has introduced a sequel in different settings; again, reinforcing the image of Motilal Oswal as ‘Experts in Equity...

Sony Ten 1 took over Star Sports 1 Hindi to lead the sports genre with three of its properties making it to the Top 5 Programs for BARC Week 46