In relation to the confusion that remains on the levy of GST on some of the services offered for free by banks to its customers, the department of Financial Services (DFS) is considering to approach the revenue department to clear the issue. The dept holds the view that some of the services including cash withdrawal at ATMs, issue of bank accounts statements and cheque book is free upto a certain limit and do not amount to commercial activities and hence should not be brought under the GST net.
Rajiv Kumar, Financial Services secretary said that "This issue of imposition of GST on some of the free services offered by banks to its customers will be taken up with the revenue department and we hope to resolve the issue soon".
The banking representative body, IBA, has already discussed with tax authorities and the later is of the view that banks do not offer services for free and instead ask a hefty fee for non-maintenance of minimum balance amount as stipulated by banks.
Of late, the Directorate General of Goods and Services Tax Intelligence (DGGSTI) had sent notices to both private and public banks, including SBI, HDFC bank and ICICI bank for payment of penalty as well as interest on service tax dues that remain unpaid between July 2012 and June 2017.
Financial Services Secretary is of the view that clarity will soon come to picture as and when the two departments sit together to discuss the issue comprehensively.