Service-tax on maintenance of property: Under the MOFA, the builder/ developer is under a statutory obligation to look after the day-to-day upkeep, maintenance and repair of the property till conveyance to the co-op society. Such maintenance of the structure is not rendering a taxable service as per s. 65 (64) of the Finance Act, 1994
The promoter has to maintain, safeguard and protect the property and look after the day-to-day wear and tear. Therefore, when he maintains the structure or repairs it, he is not rendering a taxable service in the sense envisaged by the Financial Act, 1994. If one loses complete focus or sight of the backdrop in which the so called service is rendered, then, the conclusion as erroneous and suggested by the Revenue will be reached. The deposit or the monies themselves are held and appropriated towards payment of taxes, etc., popularly known as outgoings. The building and the Flats therein has to stand intact till all the Flats or units are sold and the statutory obligations are fully discharged. This is not a service of the nature understood by Section 65 (64) of the Finance Act, 1994. It is not a contractor simplicitor of maintenance of immovable property. It is not as if there is a existing building comprising of Flats, fully occupied, the maintenance and upkeep of which is handed over under a contract. It is a statutory obligation superimposed on a contract to sell a Flat/unit in a building to be constructed on a piece or parcel of land. That cannot be confused with a taxable service as defined under the Finance Act, 1994. The day-to-day upkeep, maintenance and repair is till the statutory duty is fully performed as noted above.