Space or Time Selling Services for Advertisement

  • Definition of Taxable Service

Any service provided or to be provided to any person, by any other person, in relation to sale of space or time for advertisement, in any manner; but does not include sale of space for advertisement in print media.

“Sale of space or time for advertisement” includes,—

(i)    providing space or time, as the case may be, for display, advertising, showcasing of any product or service in video programmes, television programmes or motion pictures or music albums, or on billboards, public places, buildings, conveyances, cell phones, automated teller machines, internet;

(ii)   selling of time slots on radio or television by a person, other than a broadcasting agency or organisation; and

(iii) aerial advertising.

  • Understanding of the service

The services envisaged to be taxed under the given head of taxable service are in relation to sale of space or time for advertisement, in any manner; but does not include sale of space for advertisement in print media and sale of time slots by a broadcasting agency or organisation. It is apprised that time slot sale by the broadcasting agency is not taxable under this category, eg sale of time slot by Star TV to the producer of the programme. However, if the producer sells the allotted time slot to any other person to advertise his or her goods or services, then that is subjected to service tax under this category. Selling of space or time for advertisements such as advertisements in conveyances, advertisement through ATM, internet, advertisements on buildings etc. is also chargeable to service tax under this category.


The present service when provide din print media is covered under Negative List and no Service Tax is leviable on such provision of space. For detail, please refer to Para 8.9. of the Book.  For this purpose, print media has been defined as:

(39a) “print media” means,—

(i) “book” as defined in sub-section (1) of section 1 of the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867, but does not include business directories, yellow pages and trade catalogs which are primarily meant for commercial purposes;

(ii) “newspaper” as defined in sub-section (1) of section 1 of the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867;’

Prior to 01.10.2014, Service tax leviable on sale of space or time for advertisements in broadcast media, namely radio or television [section 66D (g) read with section 66B].  However, post 01.10.2014, it was extended to cover such sales on other segments like online and mobile advertising. The new levy would further extend to advertisements in internet websites, out-of-home media, on film screen in theaters, bill boards, conveyances, buildings, cell phones, Automated Teller Machines, tickets, commercial publications, aerial advertising, etc. Sale of space for advertisements in print media, however, would continue to be in the negative list and hence remain excluded from service tax.

Taxability as settled by precedents / Circulars / Trade notices

Activity Whether falls within the scope of present service Reference
Space for display of advertisement No CCE V Azad Publications  2006(3) STR 249 (Tri. Del)
Selling of space for advertisement by railways and airlines Yes Instruction F No. V/DGST/21 (Deccan Air) 01-06 dated 4.03.2007

  • Accounting codes

Such codes are no longer statutory but used for statistical purpose for the purpose of registration and for payment of tax as specified vide Circular No.165/16/2012 –ST dated 20.11.2012:


Tax Collection of Service Interest and penalties on such service
00440354 00440355


  • Value of Taxable Service

Section 67 read along with Service Tax (Determination of Value) Rules, 2006 provides the manner of determining the value of taxable services on which services tax should be levied.

In respect of sale or time selling services for advertisement, no specific provision for determination of taxable value has been provided.  However it has been clarified that the value of taxable services is the total amount of consideration consisting of all components of the taxable service and it is immaterial that the details of individual components of the total consideration are indicated separately in the invoice. Thus, the value of taxable sale or time selling services for advertisements to be determined in terms of provision of Section 67 read with the prescribed Rules.

  • Abatement

No abatement has been granted to any person liable to pay service tax under the Section.

  • Exemptions available

  1. General Exemption 
  • Small Service Provider

Vide Notification No 33/2012-ST, dated 20.06.2012 – Exemption to Small service providers having taxable turnover of less than 10 Lakhs and providing services other than by way of under a brand name.

  • Import of Technology

Vide Notification No. 14/ 2012-ST, dated March 17, 2012 – Exemption in respect of Taxable service involving import of technology, from so much of service tax, as is equivalent to the extent of amount of R&D Cess payable on the said transfer of technology under the provisions of section 3 of the Research and Development Cess Act, 1986. 

  • To Foreign Diplomatic missions and their personnel

Vide Notification No 27/2012-ST, dated 20.06.2012 – Exemption for all the taxable services provided by any person, for the official use of a foreign diplomatic mission or consular post in India, or for personal use or for the use of the family members of diplomatic agents or career consular officers posted therein.

  • Services by TBI or STEP

Vide Notification No 32/2012-ST, dated 20.06.2012 – All taxable services provided by TBI or STEP have been exempted

  • Services provided to SEZ

Vide Notification No 40/2012-ST, dated 20.06.2012, all taxable services received by a Unit located in a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) or Developer of SEZ for the authorized operations, has been exempted from the levy of whole of the service tax.

  1. Specific Exemptions:

No Specific Exemption had been granted by the government in case of sale or time selling services for advertisement.


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