CBIC vide Circular No. 140/10/2020-GST issued clarification in respect of levy of GST on director remuneration. CBIC has examined the subject matter in two category which is: Leviability of GST on remuneration paid by companies to the independent directors or those directors who are not the employee of the said company The primary issue to be decided is whether or not a “Director” is an employee of the company. In this regard, from the perusal of the relevant provisions of the Companies Act, 2013, it can be inferred that:
Therefore, in respect of such directors who are not the employees of the said company, the services provided by them to the Company, in lieu of remuneration as the consideration for the said services, are clearly outside the scope of Schedule III of the CGST Act and are therefore taxable. In terms of entry at Sl. No. 6 of the Table annexed to notification No. 13/2017 – Central Tax (Rate) dated 28.06.2017, the recipient of the said services i.e. the Company, is liable to discharge the applicable GST on it on reverse charge basis. Accordingly, it is hereby clarified that the remuneration paid to such independent directors, or those directors, by whatever name called, who are not employees of the said company, is taxable in hands of the company, on reverse charge basis.
Leviability of GST on remuneration paid by companies to the directors, who are also an employee of the said company Once, it has been ascertained whether a director, irrespective of name and designation, is an employee, it would be pertinent to examine whether all the activities performed by the director are in the course of employer-employee relation (i.e. a “contract of service”) or is there any element of “contract for service”.
The issue has been deliberated by various courts and it has been held that a director who has also taken an employment in the company may be functioning in dual capacities, namely, one as a director of the company and the other on the basis of the contractual relationship of master and servant with the company, i.e. under a contract of service (employment) entered into with the company.
It is also pertinent to note that similar identification and treatment of the Directors remuneration is also present in the Income Tax Act, 1961 wherein the salaries paid to directors are subject to Tax Deducted at Source ('TDS') under Section 192 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 ('IT Act').
However, in cases where the remuneration is in the nature of professional fees and not salary, the same is liable for deduction under Section 194J of the IT Act. 5.3. Accordingly, it is clarified that the part of Directors remuneration which are declared as “Salaries” in the books of a company and subjected to TDS under Section 192 of the IT Act, are not taxable being consideration for services by an employee to the employer in the course of or in relation to his employment in terms of Schedule III of the CGST Act, 2017.
It is further clarified that the part of employee Directors remuneration which is declared separately other than “salaries” in the Company accounts and subjected to TDS under Section 194J of the IT Act as Fees for professional or Technical Services shall be treated as consideration for providing services which are outside the scope of Schedule III of the CGST Act, and is therefore, taxable. Further, in terms of notification No. 13/2017 – Central Tax (Rate) dated 28.06.2017, the recipient of the said services i.e. the Company, is liable to discharge the applicable GST on it on reverse charge basis.
Conclusion: If the director is not an employee of the company or if TDS under section 194J of the IT Act is deducted on director remuneration then in such a scenario GST will be levied under RCM. Further, if TDS is deducted under section 192 of the IT Act then no GST will be levied.
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