Circular No 115/34/2019 GST : Clarification on issue of GST on Airport levies.

By | October 13, 2019
(Last Updated On: October 13, 2019)
Clarification on issue of GST on Airport levies.

Circular No. 115/34/2019-GST

F. No. 354/136/2019-TRU
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Tax research Unit

Room No. 146G, North Block,
New Delhi, the 11th October 2019

To,
The Principal Chief Commissioners/ Chief Commissioners (All)/
The Principal Commissioners/ Commissioner of Central Tax (All) /
The Principal Director Generals/ Director Generals (All)
Madam/Sir,

Subject: Clarification on issue of GST on Airport levies – reg

Various representations have been received seeking clarification on issues relating to
GST on airport levies and to clarify that airport levies do not form part of the value of
services provided by the airlines and consequently no GST should be charged by airlines on
airport levies. In order to ensure uniformity in the implementation of the provisions of law
across the field formations, the Board, in exercise of its powers conferred by section 168 (1)
of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (hereinafter referred to as “CGST Act”),
hereby clarifies the issues in the succeeding paras.

2. Passenger Service Fee (PSF) is charged under rule 88 of Aircraft Rules, 1937
according to which the airport licensee may collect PSF from embarking passengers at such
rates as specified by the Central Government. According to the rule the airport license shall
utilize the said fee for infrastructure and facilitation of the passengers. User Development
Fee (UDF) is levied under rule 89 of the Aircraft rules 1937 which provides that the licensee
may levy and collect, at a major airport, the User Development Fee at such rate as may be
determined under clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 13 of the Airports Economic
Regulatory Authority of India Act, 2008.

2.1 Though the rule does not prescribe the specific purpose of levy and whether it is to
be charged from the airlines or the passengers. However, it is seen from section 2(n) of
Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India Act, 2008, that the authority which
manages the airport is eligible to levy and charge UDF from the embarking passengers at
any airport.

2.2 Further, Director General of Civil Aviation has clarified vide order No. AIC Sl. No.
5/2010 dated 13.09.2010 that in order to avoid inconvenience to passengers and for smooth
and orderly air transport/airport operations, the User Development Fees (UDF) shall be
collected from the passengers by the airlines at the time of issue of air ticket and the same
shall be remitted to Airports Authority of India in the line system/procedure in vogue. For this, collection charges of Rs. 5/- shall be receivable by the airlines from AAI, which shall
not to be passed on to the passengers in any manner.

2.3 The above facts clearly indicate that PSF and UDF are charged by airport operators
for providing the services to passengers.

2.4 Section 2(31) of the CGST Act states that “consideration” in relation to the supply of
goods or services or both includes any payment made or to be made, whether in money or
otherwise, in respect of, in response to, or for the inducement of, the supply of goods or
services or both, whether by the recipient or by any other person. Thus, PSF and UDF
charged by airport operators are consideration for providing services to passengers

2.5 Thus, services provided by an airport operator to passengers against consideration in
the form of UDF and PSF are liable to GST. UDF was also liable to service tax. It is also
clear from notification of Director General of Civil Aviation AIC Sl. No. 5 /2010 dated
13.09.2010, which states that UDF approved by MoCA, GoI is inclusive of service tax. It is
also seen from the Air India website that the UDF is inclusive of service tax. Further in
order No. AIC S. Nos. 3/2018 and 4/2018, both dated 27.2.2018, it has been laid down that
GST is applicable on the charges of UDF and PSF.

2.6 PSF and UDF being charges levied by airport operator for services provided to
passengers, are collected by the airlines as an agent and is not a consideration for any
service provided by the airlines. Thus, airline is not responsible for payment of ST/GST on
UDF or PSF provided the airline satisfies the conditions prescribed for a pure agent under
Rule 33 of the CGST Rules. It is the licensee, that is the airport operator (AAI, DIAL,
MIAL etc) which is liable to pay ST/GST on UDF and PSF.

2.7 Airlines may act as a pure agent for the supply of airport services in accordance with
rule 33 of the CGST rules. Rule 33 of the CGST rules provides that the expenditure or costs
incurred by a supplier as a pure agent of the recipient of supply shall be excluded from the
value of supply, if all the following conditions are satisfied, namely, –

(i) the supplier acts as a pure agent of the recipient of the supply, when he makes the
payment to the third party on authorisation by such recipient;
(ii) the payment made by the pure agent on behalf of the recipient of supply has been
separately indicated in the invoice issued by the pure agent to the recipient of
service; and
(iii) the supplies procured by the pure agent from the third party as a pure agent of
the recipient of supply are in addition to the services he supplies on his own account.

“Pure agent” has been defined to mean a person who-

(a) enters into a contractual agreement with the recipient of supply to act as his pure
agent to incur expenditure or costs in the course of supply of goods or services or
both; (b) neither intends to hold nor holds any title to the goods or services or both
so procured or supplied as pure agent of the recipient of supply; (c) does not use for his own interest such goods or services so procured; and (d) receives only the actual
amount incurred to procure such goods or services in addition to the amount
received for supply he provides on his own account.

2.8 Accordingly, the airline acting as pure agent of the passenger should separately
indicate actual amount of PSF and UDF and GST payable on such PSF and UDF by the
airport licensee, in the invoice issued by airlines to its passengers. The airline shall not take
ITC of GST payable or paid on PSF and UDF. The airline would only recover the actual
PSF and UDF and GST payable on such PSF and UDF by the airline operator. The amount
so recovered will be excluded from the value of supplies made by the airline to its
passengers. In other words, the airline shall not be liable to pay GST on the PSF and UDF
(for airport services provided by airport licensee), provided the airline satisfies the
conditions prescribed for a pure agent under Rule 33 of the CGST Rules. The registered
passengers, who are the ultimate recipient of the airport services, may take ITC of GST paid
on PSF and UDF on the basis of pure agent’s invoice issued by the airline to them.

2.9 The airport operators shall pay GST on the PSF and UDF collected by them from the
passengers through the airlines. Since, the airport operators are collecting PSF and UDF
inclusive of ST/GST, there is no question of their not paying ST/GST collected by them to
the Government.

2.10 The collection charges paid by airport operator to airlines are a consideration for the
services provided by the airlines to the airport operator (AAI, DAIL, MAIL etc) and airlines
shall be liable to pay GST on the same under forward charge. ITC of the same will be
available with the airport operator.\

3. Difficulty if any, in the implementation of this circular may be brought to the notice
of the Board.

Yours Faithfully,
Rachna
OSD (TRU)
E-mail: rachna.irs@gov.in
Tel: 011-23095558

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