No need to pay service tax for unsatisfactory service

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    In a statement, released by the government which has came out as a new year surprise for consumers in a good way of course, is that if you are dining in an eatery and is unsatisfied with the service then you can refuse to pay service tax (which is generally in the range of 5-20%). Service tax is an additional charge that is added in the bill amount apart from VAT(12.5%) and other taxes.The customer is forced to pay this tax in lieu of tip irrespective whether he or she is satisfied or not with the services of the restaurant.

    The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 provides that a trade practice which, for the purpose of promoting the sale, use or the supply of any goods or for the provision of any service, adopts any unfair method or deceptive practice, is to be treated as an unfair trade practice and that a consumer can make a complaint to the appropriate consumer forum established under the Act against such unfair trade practices. In this context, the department of Consumer Affairs, Central Government has called for clarification from the Hotel Association of India, which have replied that the service charge is completely discretionary and should a customer be dissatisfied with the dining experience he/she can have it waived off.Therefore it is deemed to be accepted voluntarily.

    State governments too have been asked to put up notices informing the customers, hotels, and restaurants that service tax can be waived off by any customer who is not completely satisfied with the services of the restaurant.

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