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GST Appeals Basics

Updated on :  

08 min read.

Latest Updates:

1st February 2021
Union Budget 2021: With respect to orders received on detention and seizure of goods and conveyance, 25% of the penalty needs to be paid for making an application of appeals under section 107 of the CGST Act. The date of applicability is yet to be notified.

3rd April 2020
The time limit for completion or compliance has been extended to 30th June 2020, where the time limit/ date of expiry falls between the period from 20th March 2020 to 29th June 2020. It includes the time limit to file an appeal before the appellate authority under the GST law or the High Court or the Supreme Court including the admission and processing of the appeal.

What is an appeal?

Any appeal under any law is an application to a higher court for a reversal of the decision of a lower court. Appeals arise when there are any legal disputes.

What are disputes?

Tax laws (or any law) impose obligations. Such obligations are broadly of two kinds: tax-related and procedure-related. The taxpayer’s compliance with these obligations is verified by the tax officer (through audit, anti-evasion, examining etc.). Sometimes there are situations of actual or perceived non-compliance. If the difference in views persists, it results into a dispute, which is then required to be resolved. The initial resolution of this dispute is done by a departmental officer by a quasi-judicial process resulting into the issue of an initial order known by various names -assessment order, adjudication order, order-in-original, etc. GST Act defines the phrase “adjudicating authority” as any authority competent to pass any order or decision under this Act, but does not include the Board, the First Appellate Authority and the Appellate Tribunal. Thus, in a way, any decision or order passed under the Act is an act of “adjudication”. Some examples are:- cancellation of registrationbest judgment assessmentdecision on a refund claimimposition of a penalty.

Steps of appeals under GST

Appeal levelOrders passed by….Appeal to ——-Sections of Act
1stAdjudicating AuthorityFirst Appellate Authority107
2ndFirst Appellate AuthorityAppellate Tribunal109,110
3rdAppellate TribunalHigh Court111-116
4thHigh CourtSupreme Court117-118

Should every appeal be made to both CGST & SGST authorities? No. As per the GST Act, CGST &  SGST/UTGST officers are both empowered to pass orders. As per the Act, an order passed under CGST will also be deemed to apply to SGST. However, if an officer under CGST has passed an order, any appeal/review/ revision/rectification against the order will lie only with the officers of CGST. Similarly, for SGST, for any order passed by the SGST officer the appeal/review/revision/rectification will lie with the proper officer of SGST only.

General rules for filing GST appeals

All appeals must be made in prescribed forms along with the required fees. Fee will be – The full amount of tax, interest, fine, fee and penalty arising from the challenged order, as admitted by appellant, AND –10% of the disputed amount In cases where an officer or the Commissioner of GST is appealing then fees will not be applicable.

Can an authorized representative appear in court?

Yes. Any person required to appear before a GST Officer/First Appellate Authority/Appellate Tribunal can assign an authorized representative to appear on his behalf, unless he is required by the Act to appear personally. An authorized representative can be-

  • a relative
  • a regular employee
  • a lawyer practising in any court in India
  • any chartered accountant/cost accountant/company secretary, with a valid certificate of practice
  • a retired officer of the Tax Department of any State Government or of the Excise Dept. whose rank was minimum Group-B gazetted officer
  • any tax return preparer

Retired officers cannot appear in place of the concerned person within 1 year from the date of their retirement.

Appeal cannot be filed in certain cases

The Board or the State Government may, on the recommendation of the Council, fix monetary limits for appeals by the GST officer to regulate the filing of appeal and avoid unnecessary litigation expenses Can all decisions be appealed against? No. Appeals cannot be made for the following decisions taken by a GST officer-

  • An order to transfer the proceedings from one officer to another officer;
  • An order to seize or retain books of account and other documents;
  • An order sanctioning prosecution under the Act; or
  • An order allowing payment of tax and other amount in installments

A person unhappy with any decision or order passed against him under GST by an adjudicating authority can appeal to the First Appellate Authority If they are not happy with the decision of the First Appellate Authority they can appeal to the National Appellate Tribunal, then to High Court and finally Supreme Court.

Steps of Appeals under GST
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