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GST Appeals Basics

Updated on: Jul 13th, 2023


9 min read


Latest Updates:

11th July 2023
1. The GST Council discussed about the locations wherein state benches of the appellate tribunal are needed and the timelines. The GST appellate tribunal shall come into effect from 1st August 2023. Rules will be passed to allow appointment of President and Members of the Tribunal. The number of State Benches will be decided in phased manner, as per the recommendations at the 50th GST Council meeting.
2. The GST Council has provided for manual filing of appeal against the TRAN-1 or 2 forms orders for migrated taxpayers.
3. The authorities will soon introduce manual appeal filing under GST.

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.

Filing of a GST appeal

To file an appeal under GST to the Appellate Authority, you can follow the procedure detailed in this article here.

Time limit for filing a GST appeal

An applicant can file an appeal before the Appellate Authority within three months from the date of communication of the disputed order. Further, the Appellate Authority may condone a delay of up to one month if they are satisfied that there was a sufficient cause for such delay. 

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 authorised representative appear in court?

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

Withdrawal of a GST appeal

In the 48th GST Council meeting, it was decided to provide an option of withdrawal of a GST appeal that has already been filed. This move was made with the intention of reducing the number of litigations that the appellate authorities have to deal with. In this regard, a new Rule 109C was inserted in the CGST Rules via Notification No.26/2022- Central Tax.

Rule 109C states that the applicant can file an application for withdrawal of an appeal at any time before the show cause notice or order under Section 107(11) is issued, whichever is earlier. This is in respect of any appeal filed in Form GST APL-01 or Form GST APL-03. The application for withdrawal of the appeal will need to be submitted using the new Form GST APL-01/03W. 

It is important to note here that in cases where the final acknowledgment in Form GST APL-02 has been issued, then the withdrawal of the said appeal will require the approval of the appellate authority. The appellate authority must make a decision on the application for withdrawal of the appeal within seven days of the applicant filing the same. Any fresh appeal filed by an appellant after such withdrawal should be within the time limits specified under Section 107.

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Quick Summary

Updates on GST tribunal timelines and manual filing. Overview of GST appeal process and withdrawal option. Process, fees, and authorized representatives for appeal under GST discussed.

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