Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a comprehensive indirect tax levied on the supply of goods and services in India. It has replaced various indirect taxes, including VAT, Service Tax, and Excise Duty, among others. The GST Act provides for an Adjudicating Authority to resolve disputes related to GST. In this blog, we will discuss the Adjudicating Authority under GST in detail.
What is Adjudicating Authority under GST?
As per Section 2 (4) of CGST Act: “Adjudicating authority under GST is an authority, appointed or authorized to pass any order or decision under GST Act, but does not include the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, The Revisional Authority, The Authority for Avance Ruling, the Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling, The National Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling, The Appellate Authority, The Appellate Tribunal and the Authority referred to in sub section (2) of Section 171 of CGST Act.
The Following authorities are not permitted to pass and order/decision under the GST Laws:
- The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs,
- Revisional Authority,
- Authority for Avance Ruling,
- Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling,
- The National Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling,
- The Appellate Authority,
- The Appellate Tribunal
- Anti-Profiteering Authority
Adjudicating Authority under GST is a quasi-judicial body established under the GST Act to resolve disputes related to the payment of tax, interest, penalty and other dues.
The Adjudicating Authority is responsible for deciding upon disputes and issuing binding orders that are enforceable by both the taxpayer and the tax authorities.
It is an important component of the GST system as it provides taxpayers with a mechanism to resolve disputes related to GST in a fair, impartial, and efficient manner. The functions and powers of the adjudication authority we will discuss below.
Functions and powers of the Adjudicating Authority
The Adjudicating Authority has been established to ensure that taxpayers receive a fair and impartial decision in cases of disputes related to GST. The functions and powers of the Adjudicating Authority are as follows:
- Adjudication of Disputes: The Adjudicating Authority is responsible for resolving disputes related to GST, including disputes related to the payment of tax, interest, penalty, and other dues.
- Power of Summons: The Adjudicating Authority has the power to summon and enforce the attendance of any person and to examine him on oath.
- Power to Require Documents: The Adjudicating Authority has the power to require the production of any document or record.
- Power to Impose Penalty: The Adjudicating Authority has the power to impose penalties on taxpayers who are found to be in violation of the provisions of the GST Act. The penalties imposed by the Adjudicating Authority can include fines, imprisonment, and other measures to enforce compliance with the provisions of the GST Act.
- Power to Enforce compliance: The Adjudicating Authority is responsible for ensuring compliance with the provisions of the GST Act, including the payment of taxes, compliance with the provisions related to GST registration, and compliance with the provisions related to returns and invoices.
- Power to Issue notices and orders: The Adjudicating Authority can issue notices and orders to taxpayers to ensure compliance with the provisions of the GST Act. The notices and orders issued by the Adjudicating Authority can include demands for payment of taxes, notices for registration, and orders for compliance with the provisions of the GST Act.
Read: Show Cause Notice under GST
- Power to Determine the liability of taxpayers: The Adjudicating Authority is responsible for determining the liability of taxpayers under the provisions of the GST Act. This includes determining the liability of taxpayers for taxes, penalties, and interest.
- Power to Grant Stay: The Adjudicating Authority has the power to grant stays in cases where the taxpayer has appealed against its order.
Appeal Against Adjudicating Authority’s Order
It is important to note that the Adjudicating Authority is not a court of law, but rather a quasi-judicial body. This means that the decisions of the Adjudicating Authority are not final and can be appealed to higher authorities, including the First Appellate Authority, Appellate Tribunal, High Court and Supreme Court.
Any person aggrieved with the order passed by an adjudicating authority can file an appeal under GST before the First Appellate Authority.
In addition to resolving disputes related to GST, the Adjudicating Authority also plays a role in educating taxpayers about their rights and obligations under the GST Act. This includes providing information about the provisions of the GST Act, the procedures for filing disputes, and the consequences of non-compliance. The Adjudicating Authority also works to promote compliance with the provisions of the GST Act, by providing guidance and support to taxpayers and by taking enforcement action when necessary.
It is essential for taxpayers to be aware of the Adjudicating Authority under GST and its functions and powers. This will help them to resolve any disputes related to GST in a timely and efficient manner.
In conclusion, the Adjudicating Authority under the GST Act is an important body that plays a crucial role in resolving disputes related to GST, promoting compliance with the provisions of the GST Act, and educating taxpayers about their rights and obligations under the GST Act. Taxpayers who have disputes related to GST should be aware of the powers, procedures, and responsibilities of the Adjudicating Authority and should seek resolution of their disputes through the Adjudicating Authority. The Adjudicating Authority operates as an independent, impartial, and time-bound body, ensuring that disputes are resolved quickly and efficiently and that the rights of taxpayers are protected.
When litigations across multiple GSTINs in a legal entity or multiple entities in a group are handled, the following are the most common pain points of the industry given the sensitivity attached to litigations:
- To keep a track of all the actionable,
- To monitor the preparedness & progress of the litigations on a regular basis
- To have all the information/documents required for facing such litigations right from its source.
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Please feel free to revert with any queries regarding GST litigation and departmental audits. Our team of experts can certainly take on your specific questions, if any and look at resolving the issues efficiently.