There are some reports that GST@18% will be levied on annual subscription/fees charged for lodging in hostels. This is not true. There is no change in tax liability relating to education and related services in the GST era, except reduction in tax rate on certain items of education.
It may be mentioned that services provided by an educational institution to students, faculty and staff are fully exempt. Educational institution has been defined as an institution imparting
(i) pre-school education and education up to higher secondary school or equivalent;
(ii) education as a part of a curriculum for obtaining a qualification recognised by any law for the time being in force;
(iii) education as a part of an approved vocational education course.
Thus, services of lodging/boarding in hostels provided by such educational institutions which are providing pre-school education and education up to higher secondary school or equivalent or education leading to a qualification recognised by law, are fully exempt from GST. Annual subscription/fees charged as lodging/boarding charges by such educational institutions from its students for hostel accommodation shall not attract GST.