GST

An Overview of Filing an Appeal Under GST

Appeal Under GST

Any person aggrieved by the decision made under the CGST Act, SGST Act, or UTGST Act can file an appeal under GST[1] before the concerned Authority. The period for filing such an appeal is three months from when the said decision or order was communicated to the aggrieved person.The initial resolution of the dispute takes place through the departmental officer through a quasi-judicial process. This article will provide a complete guide on filing an appeal under GST.

Introduction to Appeal under GST before the concerned authority

There may be different opinions or perspectives on particular facts and laws in tax matters. Therefore, the taxpayer may disagree with the adjudication order passed by the authorized officer. On the other hand, there can be a situation where the revenue department may not be in agreement with the adjudication order. Therefore, the statute provides the provision of appeal to both sides. It is a right given to the statutory parties; accordingly, there are certain fetters on the right which include the time limit for filing appeals and the requirement of pre-deposit of an amount before the appeal is heard by the authority concerned.

The GST Act provides cross-empowerment among the CGST and SGST/UTGST officers. This ensures that if a proper officer of an Act like the CGST Act passes an order with respect to a transaction, such an officer will act as the proper officer of the SGST Act for a similar transaction. The officer can issue an order with respect to the CGST Act and the SGST/UTGST component of the transaction.

The GST Acts, i.e., CGST, SGST, and UTGST Act, provide that in case a proper officer under any of the GST Acts passes an order, then the appeal or review or revision against such order shall lie only with the proper officer of that Act only who passed the order.

How does the Appellate Mechanism work?

The flow of an appeal under GST starts from the adjudicating authority whose orders are challenged before the appellate authority. The decisions made by the appellate authority can be appealed against before the appellate tribunal, and the orders passed by the tribunal can be challenged before the High Court. The highest form of appeal is made before the Supreme Court of India.

A taxpayer, who is aggrieved by the order passed against him by an `, can appeal before the appellate authority. Here, only the aggrieved can file an appeal, and such an appeal should be against a decision or order passed under the GST Acts.

Please note that an appeal under GST cannot be filed against the following orders:

  • Order of the commissioner or any other authority empowered to transfer proceedings from one officer to another;
  • Order relating to the seizure or retention of register and books of account;
  • Order sanctioning prosecution under the Act;
  • Order passed with respect to payment of tax in installments.

As stated at the beginning of the article, the appeal should be filed before the appellate authority within 3 months from the date of communication of the order. However, it is to be noted that the authority may condone the delay of up to one month if the authority is satisfied that there was sufficient cause for the delay.

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In one of the case laws related to this provision, the Court had held that the upper limit of one month for filing the appeal is provided under the Act. Therefore the appellate authority becomes functus officio and will not be in the position to entertain the appeal and shall not have the power to condone the said delay.

The authority is required to follow the principles of natural justice while adjudicating the appeals, such as providing the opportunity to hear the parties, permitting additional grounds, if required, etc. After the appeal concludes, the appellate authority shall take a final decision which may either confirm, modify or annul the decision that has been challenged before the authority. It shall not remit the case back to the authority that had made the decision.

The appellate authority may increase the rigour of the order that has been challenged by raising the fee, penalty, or fine, as the case may be, in lieu of confiscation of goods or reducing the refund amount or the input tax credit.

How to file an appeal under GST before the departmental Authority?

The procedure to file an appeal under GST before the Departmental Authority has been discussed below:

  • The appeal before the departmental authority (appellate authority) can be filed in Form GST APL 01. Relevant documents need to be attached to it. The appellant may file the form electronically, and a provisional acknowledgement will be issued to such appellant;
  • The grounds of appeal and the verification form, as contained in Form GST APL 01, should be signed;
  • A certified copy of the order that has been challenged should be submitted within a period of 7 days from the date of filing of the appeal, and a final acknowledgement shall be issued thereafter by the appellate authority or by an authorized officer. (It may be noted that if the certified copy of the order is furnished within 7 days from the date of filing the aforesaid GST form, the date of filing of an appeal shall be the date of the issuance of the provisional acknowledgement. If the certified copy is submitted after 7 days, then the date of filing the appeal will be the date of submission of the certified copy.)

Filing an appeal against the demand order

A taxpayer may file an appeal under GST against the following assessment demand orders-

  • Assessment order under Sections 62, 63, and 64;
  • Acceptance or rejection of the application under Section 64(2);
  • Withdrawal of assessment order under Section 64;
  • Order imposing penalty (Section 125);
  • Order under Sections 122, 125, 127;
  • Order against remanded cases;
  • Assessment order for proceedings under Sections 73/74/76;
  • Order for dropping proceeding under Section 73 or 74, Section 63;
  • Rectification of Order, Order of rejection of rectification application.

In order to file an online appeal against the demand order, you need to follow the steps mentioned below-

  • Select the services option from the GST official website and navigate to user services;
  • Then navigate to my applications, and under the application type, choose ‘appeal to appellate authority;
  • Move to the new application button and select the order type as the demand order from the drop-down menu;
  • When the appeal form is successfully filed, the appeal status will be displayed as appeal submitted, and when the appeal form is successfully admitted, it will display appeal admitted;
  • In case your appeal form has been rejected, then the status will be shown as appeal rejected;
  • When the appeal is either confirmed or modified or rejected, the status will display appeal order passed;
  • In case the hearing has been adjourned, the status will display adjournment granted.
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Filing an appeal against non-demand order

A taxpayer may file an appeal under GST against the following assessment non-demand orders-

  • Provisional assessment order;
  • Rejection of provisional assessment order;
  • Final assessment order;
  • Order for releasing security or rejecting the application;
  • Order for rejecting the application for provisional attachment restoration;
  • Order of rejection of rectification application.

In order to file an online appeal under GST against the non-demand order, you need to follow the steps mentioned below-

  • After logging into the GST portal, taxpayers can navigate to Services and choose user services;
  • From user services, select my applications, then choose the type of application as an appeal to the appellate authority;
  • Navigate to the new application button and select the order type as assessment non-demand order;
  • Enter the order number as provided by the adjudicating authority and click on search;
  • Add the details in the category of the case and upload the annexure to GST APL 01 after filling in the details;
  • Add the name of the authorized signatory and enter the place where the application is filled;
  • Click on ‘proceed to file’ to file the application successfully.

Filing an appeal against the registration order

In order to file an appeal under GST against the registration order, the steps mentioned below should be followed:

  • Visit the official website of the GST;
  • Login to the GST portal with valid credentials;
  • Create an appeal to the appellate authority;
  • Upload the annexure to Form GST APL 01;
  • Add any other supporting documentation as may be required;
  • You may preview the application and, if satisfied, proceed to file the application;
  • You can view your filled application on my applications page.

The aforesaid process can also be followed to file an appeal under GST before the departmental authority against a refund order.

What happens after an appeal under GST is filed before the Departmental authority?

As stated earlier, any taxpayer who has been aggrieved by the decision passed by the adjudicating authority under the CGST Act, the SGST Act, or the UT GST Act can appeal to the appellate authority within three months.

Once the appeal is filed, the following transpires:

  • The commissioner may call for and examine the records of the proceedings in which an adjudicating authority has made any decision under the CGST, SGST, or UTGST Act. This is to satisfy the commissioner about the legality or the propriety of the said decision.
  • Then the commissioner directs the officer who is subordinate to him to apply to the appellate authority within 6 months from the communication of the said decision or direct for the determination of points arising out of the said decision as stated by the commissioner.
  • After that, the authorized officer shall make an application to the appellate authority, which is dealt with by the authority as if it were an appeal against the decision of the adjudicating authority and such authorized officer were an appellant.
  • Suppose the appellate authority is satisfied that the person challenging the decision was prevented by sufficient cause from filing the appeal within the prescribed period. In that case, the authority may allow it to be produced within a further period of 1 month.
  • It may be noted that an appeal can only be filed if the appellant has paid in full such part of the tax amount, fine, penalty, interest, and fee arising from the order impugned as is admitted by him and an amount equal to 10% of the remaining tax amount arising from the said impugned order.
  • If the appellant has paid such an amount, the recovery proceedings for the remaining amount would be deemed to be stayed.
  • The appellate authority shall provide the opportunity to be heard by the appellant.
  •  Then the appellate authority may grant time to the parties and adjourn the hearing if sufficient cause is shown at any appeal stage. It may be noted here that no such adjournment will be provided more than 3 times to one party during the appeal.
  • The appellate authority may allow an appellant to add any ground of appeal at the time of an appeal hearing if it believes that the omission of such ground was not willful or unreasonable.
  • Finally, the appellate authority shall pass an order after making a further inquiry if required. It may either confirm, modify or annul the decision or the challenged order.
  • The order of the appellate authority shall be in writing and shall specify the points for determination, the final decision, and the reasons for such a decision.
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Note:- As per the CGST Act, the appellate authority is required to hear and decide every appeal within one year from the date when it is filed. If there was any stay on the issuance of the order, then such period shall be excluded in computing one year. Once the appeal has been disposed of, the appellate authority/departmental authority under GST will communicate its order to the appellant, respondent, and the adjudicating authority. A copy of the order passed by the authority is sent to the jurisdictional Commissioner or the officer by him on this behalf. A copy of the order is also sent to the jurisdictional Commissioner of State tax or Commissioner of Union Territory Tax.

Conclusion

In the case where a taxpayer files an appeal under GST before the departmental authority, i.e., the appellate authority doesn’t favour the taxpayer, then such taxpayer can move appellate tribunal. If the appeal gets dismissed, the option to approach High Court and Supreme Court is open to the taxpayers. Therefore, it is available for an aggrieved person to approach the appropriate forum to resolve their dispute. With proper guidance and advice, one can get their concern and grievance heard before multiple forums prescribed under the Act.

Read our Article: Appeals Under GST (Goods and Service Tax)

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