The Tamil Nadu Authority of Advance Ruling (AAR) has ruled that the supply of DVDs and CDs with Licensed Software cannot be treated as e-books for the purpose of attracting a lesser rate of 5% GST. The applicant, Venbakkam Commandur Janardhanan, Proprietor M/s Law Weekly Journal, is engaged in the supply of printed law journals and DVDs of the law journals.

The applicant sought the advance ruling on the issue whether the assessee/dealer which publishes law journals in print and sells the same content that is in books in an electronic form in DVD’s/CDs with software to search and read it in computers and handheld devices come under the category of E-Book so that it can avail the benefit of the notification dated 26.07.2018 in respect of E-book.

Further, the issues related to the utilization of credit availed by the applicant and is on the reversal of credit availed, which do not fall under any of the categories specified under Section 97(2) of the Act and therefore are not within the ambit of this authority.

The authority consists of members Manasa Gangotri Kata and Kurinji Selvaan V.S. ruled, “the supply of DVDs/CDs with The Law Weekly Desktop’ software along with end-user license and the supply of access to the on-line database on the applicant’s website are not eligible to avail the benefit of entry at SI. No. 22 of Notification No. 13/2018-C.T.(Rate) dated 26.07.2018 notification dated 26.07.2018.”

Further, while addressing other issues such as the utilization of credit availed by the applicant and is on the reversal of credit availed earmarked for it under Section 97(2), the authority refused to comment due to lack of jurisdiction.