(GSTmitraSeries-Advance Ruling-“1”)

⛳ Dated:- 24-12-2018
⛳ MAH/AAAR/SS-RJ/14/2018-19


🌴 Public charitable and religious trust – scope of business – scope of supply – main object of the Appellant trust is to spread the knowledge of the Jain Dharam and advancement of teachings of Paramkrupaludev Shrimad Rajchandra – whether the activities carried out by them would fall under the definition of business as defined under the Section 2(17) of the CGST Act, 2017? – registration under the provisions of the CGST Act, 2017 and the MGST Act, 2017 – sale of spiritual products which are incidental and ancillary to main charitable object.

🌴 Held that:- the definition of ‘business’ under the CGST Act is wide enough to include trade, commerce, manufacture, profession, vocation, adventure, wager or any other similar activities. The term ‘trade’ is a comprehensive term which covers the activity of buying, selling or exchanging goods or services. The terms ‘trade and commerce’ by themselves mean the buying or selling goods or services between people. The charitable trust may be formed with the fundamental objectives of carrying out spiritual activity and salvation. But it also, at the same time, sells goods and services under the auspices of the trust.

🌴 The trust sells various goods and services to the people desiring to buy them and such an activity by itself forms a part of the objective of the trust – The main activity or object of the trust includes trade and commerce and as the definition of ‘business’ under the CGST Act includes the words ‘trade and commerce’ it can be said that the appellant is engaged in supply of goods and services and is therefore liable to get itself registered.

🌴 The appellant sells goods and services for consideration and its various activities come within the ambit of definition of ‘supply’ – it is already held as how the appellant can be said to be engaged in the business. Therefore, the said supply of spiritual products like books, CDs and DVDs are in the nature of supply in the course of business.

🌴Specific exemption from GST is given to charitable institutions registered u/s.12AA of the IT Act, 1961. It can be gathered that the intention of the legislature is to tax all the activities of supply goods and services by charitable trust except those specifically exempted. This is with the background that charitable institutions qua their activities of charity do not lend themselves to any specific concession or exemption from the definition of ‘supply’ or ‘business’ or ‘taxable person’. The very fact that certain services have been carved out and given out a special treatment makes it clear that all trade and commerce transaction of selling books, statutes, CDs and DVDs etc. done commercially for consideration come within the broad ambit of ‘business’ under the CGST Act.

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