Updated on 6th April 2017
In the previous article, we discussed Appeals to First Appellate Authority. In this article, we will continue on Appeals to Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal.
Who can appeal to Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal?
A person unhappy with the decision of the First Appellate Authority or the Chief Commissioner, can appeal against the decision to the National Appellate Tribunal (Appellate Tribunal). They must appeal within 3 months from the date of appeal along with the required form and fees.
What will be the constitution of the National Appellate Tribunal?
National Appellate Tribunal will be formed as follows-
- Headed by a National President with 1 Technical member from Centre and from State (National Bench)
- Regional Benches (a Judicial Member, one Technical Centre Member and one Technical Member from State)
- One Bench for each State (State Benches) headed by State President
- Area Benches under State Benches
- Every State & Area Bench will consist of judicial and technical persons (CGST and SGST) as prescribed
- The qualifications, eligibility and appointment of the National President, Judicial and CGST Members will be later prescribed by the Central Government on the recommendations of the Council. The State government will specify the criteria for State Presidents and the Members of SGST.
Will all appeals be accepted?
The Appellate Tribunal will not admit any appeal where the amount involved (tax/input tax credit/fine/fee/penalty) is lower than Rs. 50,000.
The Commissioner can form a committee of two officers who will review the appeals to the Appellate Tribunal.
If this committee is of the opinion that the order was not legal or properly passed then it can direct any officer to apply to the Appellate Tribunal within six months from the appeal date. If the committee members cannot agree unanimously on the points of the appeal it will automatically be sent to the Appellate Tribunal.
What happens to the party in whose favour the decision was made?
The benefitted party (in whose favour the decision was made) will receive a notice that an appeal was sent to Appellate Party. They can then file a memorandum of cross-objections within 45 days of the receipt of notice. (May be extended for 45 days more if there is sufficient cause).
Decisions taken by the Appellate Tribunal
The Appellate Tribunal can confirm, modify or annul the decision or refer the case back to the First Appellate Authority [or the revisional authority].
It may also refer the case back to the original adjudicating authority, with directions for a fresh decision after considering any additional evidence.
The Appellate Tribunal shall give the decision within a period of one year from the appeal filing date.
A copy of the order passed will be given to-
- the First Appellate Authority or the revisional authority, i.e.., the original adjudicating authority
- the appellant
- the jurisdictional Commissioner of CGST and
- the jurisdictional Commissioner of SGST.
Will adjournment be allowed?
The Appellate Tribunal can adjourn the hearing of the appeal for maximum 3 times. The reasons for adjournment must be recorded in writing.
Can the Appellate Tribunal amend its own order?
The Appellate Tribunal can amend its order passed to rectify any apparent mistake apparent from the record within a period of three months from the date of the order.
The mistake may be noticed by the Appellate Tribunal itself or may be brought to its notice by the Commissioner of GST or the other party to the appeal.
Any amendment which will increase the tax liability or decrease the refund or input tax credit will be done only after a reasonable opportunity of being heard has been given.
If the order is stayed by an order of a Court or Tribunal, the period of such stay shall be excluded from the one year period.
How decisions will be taken by the Appellate Tribunal?
The powers and functions of the Appellate Tribunal will be discharged by Benches.
The bench shall consist of-
- 1 Judicial Member (Judicial)
- 1 CGST Member (Technical)
- 1 SGST Member (Technical)
- State President
The National President or a State President, can dispose of any case allotted to the Bench of which he is a member, where the amount involved is below 5 lakhs.
Difference in opinion in the Bench
Decision will be taken on basis of majority.
If the members are equally divided, they shall refer to the National President or the State President. He shall either hear the point(s) himself or refer the case to the other members of the Appellate Tribunal (i.e. other Benches). Then the decision will be taken on the basis of majority of the original and the referred bench.
Powers of the Appellate Tribunal
The Appellate Tribunal shall have the same powers as a court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, for trying a case. It will be a deemed Civil Court.
Is interest payable on refund of fees?
If the fees deposited by the appellant is required to be refunded due to any order of the First Appellate Authority or of the Appellate Tribunal, as the case may be,and it is not refunded within 60 days interest will be payable from the date of payment of the fees till the date of refund. The interest rate will not exceed 9%.
If he is not happy with the decision of the National Appellate Tribunal he can appeal to High Court and finally Supreme Court.