The Goods and Service Tax (GST) is a relatively new legislation in India. While it does have the legislation for an entire indirect tax structure ranging from the charge of tax to seizing of assets for enforcement, the same is not implemented all at once. The system of GST is being implemented in a phased manner and now it has come on par with its direct tax peer with the appointment of a Revisional Authority. We will discuss the following matters in relation to this topic:
1. What is GST revisional authority?
A Revisional Authority is an authority that has the power to call for and examine the records of any proceedings carried out by an officer who is a subordinate to him and conduct a further enquiry as he may deem fit. The Revisional Authority can revise the original order, i.e., it can pass an order to overrule the order of such officer in the interest of revenue.
2. Who can approach the GST revisional authority?
The Revisional Authority may decide whether to act or not on any matter. The Commissioner of State tax or Union Territory tax may only request the Revisional Authority to exercise its powers. The taxpayer cannot approach the GST Revisional Authority but will only be given an opportunity of being heard in case an order is to be passed against him.
3. When can one approach the GST revisional authority?
The GST Revisional Authority will only exercise his powers if he considers that any decision or order passed by a subordinate officer is erroneous and prejudicial to the interest of revenue and:
- Is illegal; or
- Is improper; or
- Certain material facts have not been taken into account
Thus, one can approach the Revisional Authority only if they have reason to believe that a subordinate officer has passed an order that is erroneous in so far as it is prejudicial to the interest of revenue.
4. Who has the power to revise the decisions/orders?
The persons with the authority to revise the decisions/orders are as follows:
For decisions or orders passed by
Authorised Revisional Authority
Additional or Joint Commissioner
Principal Commissioner or Commissioner
Deputy Commissioner or Assistant Commissioner or Superintendent
Additional or Joint Commissioner
5. When is the revisional authority not able to exercise its power?
The Revisional Authority cannot exercise its power in the following cases:
- Where the relevant order has been subject to an appeal to an Appellate Authority, Appellate Tribunal, High Court or Supreme Court. However, Revisional Authority can pass an order in respect to any point which had not been raised in such appeal before one year from date of the order in such appeal.
- The Commissioner is given six months from the date of an order to direct his subordinate officer to appeal to the Appellate Authority if required. The Revisional Authority cannot exercise its power until the expiry of these six months. However, Revisional Authority can pass an order in respect to any point which had not been raised in such appeal within three years from the date of the order in such appeal.
- Where more than three years have passed since the passing of the order/decision sought to be revised.
- The relevant order has already been taken for revision in the past.
- The Revisional Authority has already passed an order.
6. Time limit to approach the GST Revisional Authority
The Revisional Authority cannot take up any matter where more than three years have passed since the date of the order/decision. Further, where the Revisional Authority seeks to pass an order in respect to any point not raised and subject to an appeal before the Appellate Authority, Appellate Tribunal, High Court or Supreme Court, the time limit for the Revisional Authority is one year from the date of such order. Hence, the Revisional Authority needs to be approached within this time limit.
However, in the computation of this limit, where the decision/order sought to be revised involves an issue which the Appellate Tribunal or the High Court has given its decision in some other proceedings and an appeal to the High Court or the Supreme Court against such decision of the Appellate Tribunal or High Court is pending, the following period spent shall not be taken into consideration:
- Between the date of the decision of the Appellate Tribunal and the date of the decision of the High Court; or
- Between the date of the decision of the High Court and the date of the decision of the Supreme Court