In case of any legal disputes, wherein the person involved is not happy with the decision passed on by a lower court, the person can raise an application to the higher court for the cancellation or reversal of the same. The act of raising such applications is known as an Appeal.
Under GST, legal disputes can be rooted to two obligations as given below:
These obligations are often verified by a proper GST officer during audits, anti-evasion, examining etc. However, in some scenarios, the obligation verified may be actual or perceived non-compliance and the difference in the perception leads to a dispute, which is then required to be resolved. The resolution of such dispute is done by a departmental officer, as per quasi-judicial process, wherein the outcome of these issues of an initial order is often termed as assessment order, adjudication order, order-in-original, etc.
Adjudicating Authority under GST
Under the GST act, an authority, excluding the Board, the First Appellate Authority and the Appellate Tribunal, who is competent to pass an order or decision under the GST act is known as an Adjudicating Authority and any order/decision passed under the act is called an act of Adjudication.
Appeal Hierarchy under GST
The hierarchy of an appeal can be understood with the following pyramid, wherein a person can raise an application to the higher authority, based on the section given. For instance, for a legal dispute against the First Appellate Authority, the person can raise an application to Appellate tribunal under section 109-110.
The CGST & the SGST authority
Under the GST Act, the CGST officers and the SGST/UTGST officers, both have the authority to pass an order. Furthermore, as per the act, if an order has been passed for a person under CGST, it shall be deemed to apply for SGST as well. However, it should be noted that, if a CGST officer passes an order, any appeal, review, revision/rectification against the order shall lie only with the CGST officers and likewise for the SGST officer.
Filling GST appeals
In order file an appeal, a person is required to fill the prescribed form, along with the fees applicable i.e. the full amount of tax, interest, fine, fee and penalty arising from the challenged order, as admitted by the appellant, along with the 10% of the disputed amount
P.S, there shall be no fees applicable, if in case, an officer or the Commissioner of GST is appealing.
The 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.
Restriction applicable on Appeals
A person cannot raise an appeal for 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; or
- An order sanctioning prosecution under the Act; or
- An order allowing payment of tax and other amounts in instalments
Furthermore, an appeal cannot be filed in certain cases, wherein on the recommendation of the council, the Board or the State Government may fix monetary limits for appeals by the GST officer in order to regulate the filing of appeal and avoid unnecessary litigation expenses
A person unhappy with any decision or order passed against him under GST by an adjudicating authority can appeal to the First Appellate Authority.
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