CESTAT order: Invoice bears Handwritten Serial Number can’t be denied for availing ITC

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The Ahmedabad bench of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) has held that the input tax credit cannot be denied merely on the ground that the invoices bear handwritten Serial Number.

Facts of the case:

On the first appeal, the authority allowed the claim of the respondents and held that as per Rules 11 of the Central Excise Rules, 2002, it is clear that the invoice should bear serial numbers and it does not prescribe that the invoice should bear Pre-printed Serial Numbers. According to the first appellate authority, the invoice should be “Serially Numbered” irrespective, whether, it is handwritten or Pre-printed.

It was also noted that the non-mention of service tax registration or it is overwritten on the invoice the same is an only procedural lapse, so long, there is no dispute regarding payment of service tax by the service provider. The department filed an appeal against the said order before the Tribunal.

Interpretation of law and Conclusion:

While allowing the plea of the appellants, the Tribunal observed that the issue whether the denial of Cenvat Credit for the reason that invoices of input service bear handwritten serial number is correct or otherwise was already settled by the Tribunal in an earlier case of the appellants.

While concurring with the findings of the Tribunal, the Tribunal held that “the reason for denial of the Cenvat Credit in the above decision of the Tribunal and in the present case is absolutely identical. Since the issue in the appellant’s own case has already been decided to vide order dated 07/02/2020, there is nothing more to discuss on the issue in hand. Accordingly, following the decision of this bench in above-cited order dated 07/02/2020, the impugned order is set aside and appeal is allowed.”

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