Commissioner of Service Tax Delhi Vs Quick Heal Technologies limited (Supreme Court)

Court: Supreme Court
Head Notes:

Commissioner of Service Tax Delhi Vs Quick Heal Technologies limited(Supreme Court)
Date-5th August 2022
Sub-Whether development of Quick Heal brand Antivirus Software which is supplied along with the license code/product code either online or on the replicated CDs/DVDs to the end­ customers in India is liable for service-tax under that regime? Important judgement in relation to sale of software?

The Supreme Court of India was considering whether in a case where software was supplied by Quick heal coupled with a license key which permitted end customers to download the software and use it , was chargeable to service tax on the plea that the second part of activity where the license was provided to the customer amounted to interactivity between the customer and the computer and thus that part was liable to service tax. The department tried to distinguish between canned and uncanned software by arguing that the earlier decision in the case of Tata consultancy services Vs State of Andhra Pradesh applied only in case of canned software. The Supreme Court however considered the law in detail and considering the terms of agreement between quick heal and the end user and the fact that the artificial segregation of the transaction, into two parts is not tenable in law. It is, in substance, one transaction of sale of software and once it is accepted that the software put in the CD is “goods”, then there cannot be any separate service element in the transaction.

The judgement thus reaffirms the TCS decision and will be a big relief not only to quick heal as the demand was Rs 62 crore but to lot many.

Ramesh Patodia

Section(s): Service-tax - Finance Act 1994 provisions- sale of anti virus software whether liable for service tax
Counsel(s): Counsels
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Date of upload: August 5, 2022

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