Finance

Is Computer Software a Good or a Service?

Goods or Services? Understanding the Classification of Computer Software under GST

Introduction:

The classification of computer software as either a good or a service has been a contentious issue for businesses since the service tax regime. However, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Act has provided some much-needed clarity on the matter.

Classification of Computer Software:

According to the GST Act, computer software is categorized as either “normal software” or “specific software”. Normalized software refers to pre-designed software that is available off-the-shelf in retail outlets. It can be supplied in any medium or storage (such as a CD-ROM or through the use of encryption keys) and is treated as a supply of goods. On the other hand, specific software is customized to the specific requirements of the customer and includes development, design, programming, customization, adaptation, upgradation, enhancement, and implementation of information technology software or permitting the use or enjoyment of any intellectual property right. Hence, it shall be treated as a supply of services.

Computer Software bought over the internet Computer software bought through non-electronic medium
1. Computer softwares can be procured online, i.e. directly over the internet 1. Computer softwares can also be procured through a non-electronic medium, i.e. other than over the internet
2. The buyer usually receives a link via e-mail through which the software can be downloaded or the software is sent as an e-mail attachment 2. These are usually available in a CD or DVD format wherein the buyer has to install the same in its system and operate.
3. In case of online procurement, companies sell two kinds of software, – a general software and – a Customised software which is developed as per the specific requirements of the customer As a customised software is tailored as per the pre-determined needs of the customers, such softwares qualify as supply of services in accordance with Sl. No. 5 (2)(d) of Schedule –II of the GST law. Majority of the computer softwares which are procured electronically from International Companies are customised softwares, hence they are classified as supply of services. 3. In such cases, the computer software is available alongwith an encryption key or is a type of software which is generally bought off the shelf. Thus, such computer softwares qualify as goods under the GST law

Conclusion

In conclusion, it can be said that the classification of computer software as either a good or a service depends on whether it is an off-the-shelf product or a customized product. It is important for businesses to understand this classification to determine the appropriate tax treatment for their software-related transactions under the GST Act.

   


Disclaimer:

The content of this article is for information purpose only and does not constitute advice or a legal opinion and are personal views of the author. It is based upon relevant law and/or facts available at that point of time and prepared with due accuracy & reliability. Readers are requested to check and refer to relevant provisions of statute, latest judicial pronouncements, circulars, clarifications etc before acting on the basis of the above write up. The possibility of other views on the subject matter cannot be ruled out. By the use of the said information, you agree that the Author / Treelife is not responsible or liable in any manner for the authenticity, accuracy, completeness, errors or any kind of omissions in this piece of information for any action taken thereof.

Last Updated on: 8th December 2023, 08:09 pm


Disclaimer:

The content of this article is for information purpose only and does not constitute advice or a legal opinion and are personal views of the author. It is based upon relevant law and/or facts available at that point of time and prepared with due accuracy & reliability. Readers are requested to check and refer to relevant provisions of statute, latest judicial pronouncements, circulars, clarifications etc. before acting on the basis of the above write up. The possibility of other views on the subject matter cannot be ruled out. By the use of the said information, you agree that the Author / Treelife is not responsible or liable in any manner for the authenticity, accuracy, completeness, errors or any kind of omissions in this piece of information for any action taken thereof.

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