GST registration required for Charitable Trust running medical store to give medicines without profit: Gujarat HC

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GST registration required for Charitable Trust running medical store to give medicines without profit: Gujarat HC

 

Nagri Eye Research Foundation v. Union of India – [2021] 128 taxmann.com 310 (Gujarat)
Short Overview of the case:
The petitioner was a registered charitable trust set up with various objectives basically and essentially of undertaking eye and research activities and charitable activities in eye research and prevention of blindness.
It had filed an application for advance ruling to determine whether GST Registration would be required for medical store run by it as medical store would be providing medicines at a lower rate.
The Authority for Advance Ruling held that the petitioner Trust was required to obtain GST Registration for the medical store run by the Trust and that the medical store providing medicines at a lower rate amounted to supply of goods.
 Aggrieved by the order, it field appeal against the order and the same was dismissed.
Thereafter, it filed writ petition against the same. It was submitted that both the authorities have failed to appreciate the fact that the activities carried on by the petitioner Trust by running a medical store could not be said to be a “business” within the meaning of Section 2(17) of the CGST Act, 2017 (the Act).
The Honorable High Court observed that every supplier who falls within ambit of Section 22(1) of the Act has to get himself registered under the Act.
As per Section 7(1) of the Act, the expression ‘supply’ includes all forms of supply of goods and services or both such as sale, transfer, barter etc. made or agreed to be made for consideration by a person in the course or furtherance of business.
 It was not disputed that the petitioners would be selling the medicines, may be at a cheaper rate but for consideration in the course of their business.
For the purpose of “business” under section 2(17) of the Act, it is immaterial whether such a trade or commerce or such activity is for pecuniary benefit or not.

Therefore, it was held that he Medical Store run by the Charitable Trust would require GST Registration, and that the Medical Store providing medicines even if supplied at lower rate would amount to supply of goods.

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