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The growth of online media and online services are phenomenal in the present world. The world has really seen the amazing power and convenient practical usage of online platform during the lockdown specially in sectors like advertisement, media, education and gaming .These sectors have shown double digit growth post the lockdown period including OIDAR service (Online Information Data Access and Retrieval).

We will try to analyse the OIDAR services from GST perspective.We will have step by step approach to understand the concept clearly


Relevant sections and Notifications referred to are as below : - 

Sec 2(17) of IGST act

Definition of OIDAR services

Sec 14 of IGST Act

Special provisions of tax by supplier of OIDAR services

Sec 2(16) of IGST act

Definition of Non-taxable Online Recipient (NTOR)

Notification no 9/2017 (IT) Dated 28th June 2017 

Non inclusion of OIDAR services in the exemption list (proviso to Serial no 10)

Notification no 10/2017 (IT) Dated 28th June 2017 

Import of service under RCM


Sec 2(11) of IGST act

Conditions for import of service

Sec 24 (11) read with Rule 14

Compulsory registration of person supplying OIDAR services

What is OIDAR services?
The definition of OIDAR is given in sec 2(17) of IGST act which is as below :
 “online information and database access or retrieval services” means services whose delivery is mediated by information technology over the internet or an electronic network and the nature of which renders their supply essentially automated and involving minimal human intervention and impossible to ensure in the absence of information technology and includes electronic services such as,
(i) advertising on the internet;
(ii) providing cloud services;
(iii) provision of e-books, movie, music, software and other intangibles through telecommunication networks or internet;
(iv) providing data or information, retrievable or otherwise, to any person in electronic form through a computer network;
(v) online supplies of digital content (movies, television shows, music and the like);
(vi) digital data storage; and
(vii) online gaming;

Its online service but all online services are not OIDAR services, as there are two most important factors that differentiate between normal online service and OIDAR. 
a)    The services whose delivery shall be mediated through information technology over the internet / electronic network which makes it automated and   
b)    The delivery of service to recipient shall be done with minimum human intervention.   
Lets try to analyse the concept with the help of some examples 


Name of service

Whether done IT/Internet/Digital network are integral part of this service?

Whether there is only minimum human intervention?


Mr. A is conducting Online teaching pan  India from his office in Delhi


No – its live online class


Mr A is also supplying the recorded class to students for a price by providing login id and password




An entrance coaching centre is proving recorded classes and downloadable notes after every live class 


No because live class is the main service


 The following are some of the popular OIDAR services:


Name of the service provider

Cloud services

Google cloud, Microsoft Azure, Adobe cloud, IBM cloud

Advertisement services

Facebook, Instagram, google search ads

E books

Scribed, kindle, book mate

Search engine

Bing, google search, Yahoo, You tube


Hotstar, Amazon prime, Netflix



If we look at the tax treatment  given to OIDAR under GST one will understand that the government wants to tax all type of OIDAR usages  , that means

  • Services given from India  or from outside India 
  • Services given for business or for non-business.
  • The government( state/central)  and Charitable entities

Every thing is subjected to GST if its OIDAR .

 It has been also made clear that if the OIDAR service provider is not having an office in India , then they will have to appoint an agent for representing them who will be liable for the tax payment.

As per sec 14 of IGST act , the OIDAR services provided by a person from non -taxable territory and received by a person being non-taxable online recipient (NTOR) the supplier of service in non -taxable territory shall be liable to pay the tax . 


As per 2 (16) of the IGST act , NTOR means any

  • Government
  • Government authority
  • Local authority
  • An individual
  • Or any other person not registered


Receiving OIDAR services in relation to any purpose other than commerce ,industry or any business or profession located in taxable territory 

In short if government or an unregistered person uses OIDAR service for personal use, they are known as NTOR

Now , if the OIDAR services from a non -taxable territory are received by an NTOR , the service provider shall be liable to GST (refer sec 14 of IGST Act)

What is the tax applicability in case recipient is not NTOR ?

The answer to the above is lying in Notification 10/2017 (IT) dated 28th June 2017 .

As per  this notification if any service supplied by any person who is located in a non-taxable territory to any person who is not an NTOR located in taxable territory , the transaction is under RCM.

The following transaction is under RCM

Nature of transaction



any service supplied by any person who is located in a non-taxable territory to any person

(Other than NTOR)

Any person located in non taxable territory

Any person in the taxable territory


We can summarise the Sec and Notification as below from the point of view of nature of charge :

Supplier – OIDAR

Recipient    (EXCEPT NTOR)


1.Outside India



In India




2.In India



Outside India

Forward Charge

(This will be termed as export of service  only if the conditions under sec 2(6) are satisfied which is covered below  )


3.In India


In India


Forward charge






Out of GST

What will happen the recipient is an NTOR?

If the recipient is an NTOR (Non-taxable On-line Recipient) then the charge of GST in first 3 scenarios mentioned above would be Forward charge (As the notification 10/2017 (IT) is not applicable for such cases) and will be outside GST under the 4th scenario.

Now we will check the exemption notification 9/2017 (IT) dated 28th June 2017 to see any of OIDAR services are exempted or not .
Services received from a provider of service located in a non- taxable territory by – 
(a) the Central Government, State Government, Union territory, a local authority, a governmental authority or an individual in relation to any purpose other than commerce, industry or any other business or profession

Let’s take some more examples to understand the concept