New Delhi: Education will not become expensive under goods and services tax (GST) regime as schooling up to higher secondary and most of the services provided to educational institutions are exempt from taxation, the government said on Friday.
Refuting reports that education would become costlier under GST, an official statement said mid-day meal scheme as well as security, cleaning and housekeeping services performed in educational institutions up to higher secondary are also exempt from GST.
Also, services relating to admission and examination up to higher secondary are also exempt from GST. “There is no change made in any subject relating to education in the GST era, except to reduce tax rate on certain items of education such as school bags, etc.," a finance ministry statement said.
Services provided by an educational institution to students, faculty and staff are exempt. These include pre- school education and education up to higher secondary school or equivalent, education as a part of a curriculum for obtaining a qualification recognised by any law for the time being in force, education as a part of an approved vocational education course.
Also transportation of students, faculty and staff services provided to an educational institution (providing pre-school education, and education up to higher secondary school or equivalent) are exempt from GST.
Similarly, catering, including any mid-day meals scheme sponsored by the Central government, state government or union territory, to an educational institution providing education up to higher secondary school or equivalent, are also exempt.
Further, security or cleaning or housekeeping services performed in such educational institutions are also exempt. Finally, services relating to admission to, or conducting of examination by, such institutions, up to higher secondary, too are exempt from GST.
“Thus, education up to higher secondary school level does not suffer GST on output services and also on most of the important input services. Some of the input services like transport, canteen, etc. provided by private players to educational institutions were subject to service tax in pre- GST era and the same is continued in GST regime," it said.
Furthermore, services by an entity registered under section 12AA of the I-T Act by way of charitable activities relating to advancement of educational programmes or skill development for abandoned, orphaned or homeless children, physically or mentally abused and traumatised persons. Also prisoners and persons over the age of 65 years residing in a rural area are also exempt from GST, the statement said.