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Continuous supply, as the phrase suggests, is an ongoing process. The goods/services are supplied periodically and the payments are also made periodically, often monthly. For example, supplying bricks to builders is a continuous supply of goods because there will be periodic supply for a long time.

Telecom and internet services provided by telecom companies are other examples of continuous supply of services.

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Current scenario

There is no concept of continuous supply of goods under present Central excise or VAT/CST laws.
For continuous supply of services, service tax liability arises on at earliest of:

  • date of invoice or
  • date of completion of service or
  • date of receipt of payment.

If the service is determined periodically on completion of events as per contract entered, which requires receiver to make payment to service provider, the completion of such event is a point of taxation.

Under the GST regime

Continuous supply of goods

Continuous supply goods
Continuous supply of goods

It means a

  • supply of goods which is provided or will be provided
  • continuously or on recurrent basis,
  • under a contract.
  • It may be through means of a wire, cable, pipeline or other conduit.
  • The supplier sends invoice to the recipient on a periodic basis.

Time of issuing invoice for continuous supply of goods

There are successive statements of accounts/successive payments and the invoices are issued before or at the time of issue of each statement or at the time each payment is received.
For example, the brick supplier issues an invoice along with each batch of bricks he sends.

Continuous supply of services

Continuous supply services
Continuous supply of services

It means a

  • supply of services which is provided or will be provided
  • continuously or on recurrent basis
  • under a contract
  • for a period exceeding three months
  • with periodic payment obligations

Time of issuing of tax invoice for continuous supply of services

  • When the due date of payment can be identified from the contract

The invoice will be issued before or after the payment is to be made by the recipient but within specified time**. Invoice will be issued, whether or not any payment has been received by the supplier.
For example, telecom service provider sends telephone bill every month. This is mentioned in the contract with the telecom company.

  • When the due date of payment is cannot be identified from the contract

The invoice shall be issued before or after each time when the supplier of service receives the payment but within specified time**.

  • When the payment is linked to the completion of an event

The invoice shall be issued before or after the time of completion of that event but within specified time**.

  • When the supply of services ceases under a contract before the completion of the supply

The invoice shall be issued at the time when the supply ceases and such invoice shall be issued to the extent of the service provided before stopping.
For example, a works contract starting on 1st August 2017 was due for completion in March 2018. But it was stopped on 11th Nov 2017. The contractor will issue an invoice on 11th November 2017 to the extent of work performed.

Specified Time**
The invoice must be issued within thirty (30) days from the date when each event, specified in the contract and requiring the recipient to make any payment, is completed.
If the supplier of service is a bank/financial institution/NBFC
The invoice must be issued within forty five (45) days from the date of supply of service.

The Centre or a State Government may notify the supply of goods or services to be treated as continuous supply of goods or services.

Note: Revised Time of supply of continuous supply of goods/services
According to GST model law of June 2016, time of supply was date of expiry of periods to which successive statements related to. If there were no successive statements, then earlier of date of issue of invoice or date of receipt of payment was considered as time of supply.
THIS HAS BEEN REMOVED IN THE REVISED GST MODEL LAW OF NOVEMBER 2016.
Other provisions for time of supply of continuous supply of goods/services may be notified later.

Conclusion

Multiple events such as raising invoice/making payment in case of supply of goods/services or completion of event-in case of service are triggering the tax levy. It confirms that the government wants to ensure tax is collected at the earliest point of time.

GST is a completely new tax regime already taking India by storm. Businesses will face challenges in transition and application of GST.
Feel free to read more of our articles on our blog.

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