Chandigarh seeks legal opinion on service charge levied by eaterieshttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/chandigarh-seeks-legal-opinion-on-service-charge-levied-by-eateries/

Chandigarh seeks legal opinion on service charge levied by eateries

The Consumer Affairs Department has already prepared a list of eateries as well as hotels levying service charge on customers through their month-long survey which concluded recently.

The local administration has sought legal opinion on the issue of service charge levied by several eateries and restaurants in the city.

The Consumer Affairs Department has already prepared a list of eateries as well as hotels levying service charge on customers through their month-long survey which concluded recently.

Danish Ashraf, joint director, food and supplies department, said that though quite a few number of eateries levy service charge, the matter regarding its illegality was under process.

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It had been referred to legal remembrance and after their opinion, the final decision would be taken, he added.

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However, the Chandigarh Restaurant Association is of the view that the service charge levied by them was not illegal.

The letter issued by the excise and taxation commissioner, dated August 31, 2014, where they had directed hotels and restaurants not to levy service charge was challenged in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

On the court directions, the UT Excise Department released another letter wherein they approved that service charge could be levied but they should also charge VAT @ 12.5 per cent on the amount of service charge, thus adding it to the sale figure of the assessees.

Further, in the recent clarification by the Ministry of Finance on service charge, it was nowhere mentioned that this charge was illegal as being widely and wrongly publicised, they added.

When contacted, Adviser to Administrator Vijay Kumar Dev said that the final decision on service charge was expected by next week.