The Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017.
GST is an Indirect Tax which has superseded many Indirect Taxes in India. On 29th March 2017, the Parliament passed “The Goods and Service Tax Act” The Act came into effect on 1st July 2017. The act sets out various rules and regulations that are to be followed including the hierarchy of appeals under the GST act.
GST registration in India is mandatory for certain class of people/entities to comply with. Any person with a taxable supply turnover of over Rs.20 lakhs is required to register for GST in India. Mechanisms are present for voluntary GST registration to aid one to claim input tax credit. The GST registration status can be checked on the official GST website.
What are the provisions for appeal under GST?
What is an appeal?
If a person is not satisfied with an order passed by a court of law, they have an option to file an application in a court of higher authority. The filing of this application is called filing an appeal. By filing an appeal, the person who is unhappy with the decision of a court seeks for a relief from such a verdict. It should be noted that an appeal can only be filed in a court of higher hierarchy. The GST Act sets out the hierarchy of appeals very clearly.
Provisions under the CGST Act, 2017.
Who can file an appeal?
Under the CGST Act, 2017, the following people can file an appeal.
- Any person who is unsatisfied by the order passed against him/her by any authority adjudicating the matter under the CGST Act, SGST Act, UTGST Act, and The Service Tax Act.
- The Commissioner of Central Tax can also file an appeal by directing any of their subordinates. They can do this either on their own will or on the suggestion of State Tax or Union Territory Tax Commissioner.
It is to be noted that an appeal filed by a commissioner is treated as an appeal filed by the aggrieved person himself.
What is the hierarchy of appeals under the CGST Act, 2017?
If the aggrieved party wants to file for an appeal, the following hierarchy of appeals must be followed :
The first appeal can be filed in the First Appellate Authority and the last appeal can be filed in the Supreme Court.
Appeals in Appellate Tribunal
The Appellate Tribunals follow the procedure which is prescribed by the Code of Civil Procedure. It also keeps in mind the principals of natural justice along with the provisions of the CGST Act. They have all the powers that are vested in a Civil Court. They include the right to,
- Summon the attendance of any person and examining him on oath.
- Require the discovery and production of documents.
- Receive the evidence on affidavits, etc.
Who can file an appeal in the Appellate Tribunal?
Any registered taxpayer who is not satisfied with the order passes by the authority can file an appeal to the tribunal.
The Commissioner of Central Tax, if not satisfied with the records of the proceedings can file an appeal to the tribunal.
When can the appeals be filed in an Appellate Tribunal?
In case of appeals filed by a registered taxpayer, 3 months from passing the order.
In case of appeals filed by the Commissioner of Central Tax, 6 months from passing the order.
Appeals in High Courts.
The provisions that are mentioned in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, regarding the appeals to the High Court holds true while filing appeals under the GST Act as well. It should be noted that an appeal can only be filed in a High Court if the aggrieved party is not satisfied with an order passed by a court of a lower authority.
Also, it is important to note that this kind of an appeal is heard by a beach of minimum two judges.
However, it is not mandatory for the High Court to accept all the appeal claimed under the GST Act. The court can reject an appeal if it feels like no substantial question of law is involved. The High Court may accept an appeal if it feels like,
- An issue was not determined by any State or Area Bench of Appellate Authority.
- An issue is erroneously determined by any State or Area Bench of Appellate Authority.
Who can file an appeal to the High Court?
Any person who is not satisfied with the decision of either any bench of the Appellate Authority, State or Area, can file an appeal in the High Court.
When can an appeal to the High Court be filed?
According to the GST Act, an appeal of this kind is required to be filed within 180 days of being passed by the Appellate Tribunal.
However, if sufficient cause is proved, the High Court can entertain such an appeal even if it is filed after 180 days. This is a discretionary power and not mandatory.
Appeals in the Supreme Court
The provisions that are mentioned in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, regarding the appeals to the Supreme Court holds true while filing appeals under the GST Act as well.
If there is any change, variation or reversal in the order that is passed by the High Court, the effect to such change is given in a manner that is provided in section 117 of the GST Act.
Who can file an appeal to the Supreme Court?
Any person who is not satisfied with the decision of the High Court can file for an appeal to the supreme court, according to the hierarchy of appeals under the GST Act.
However, it must be noted that Irrespective of the number of appeals made, sums resulting out of any decision of the lower courts shall be duly paid to the government before filing such an appeal.
The GST Act clearly states the hierarchy of appeals. It is very important to apply for a GST registration when it comes to filing an appeal in the court. At Company Vakil, we cater to all you GST registration needs. We have an in-house team of expert lawyers who can help you in the GST registration process from start to end and make it hassle-free.