First Appellate Authority (FAA) is a key authority set up under the GST Law to oversee the implementation of the tax, resolve disputes, and provide guidance to taxpayers. Under the GST law, a person unhappy with the order issued against his appeal on a legal dispute, by the adjudicating authority can raise an application for a revision, cancellation, or reversal of the same to a higher court i.e. First Appellate Authority (in this case). In order to make an appeal to the First Appellate Authority, a person has to file form GST APL 1 within 3 months (extendable up to 1 month) of the issuance of the order.
The First Appellate Authority under GST
The First Appellate Authority is an appellate authority that has been established under the GST regime to hear appeals against the decisions of the lower authorities. The FAA has the power to hear appeals against the decisions of the GST authorities and to pass orders in the matter. The FAA plays a crucial role in ensuring that taxpayers receive fair and impartial treatment under the GST regime.
Who can appeal to the First Appellate Authority?
Any person who is aggrieved by a decision of the GST authorities can appeal to the First Appellate Authority. This includes registered taxpayers, unregistered taxpayers, and even individuals who have been penalized by the GST authorities. The person appealing must have a valid reason for the appeal and must present their case in a clear and concise manner.
What are the grounds for appeal to the First Appellate Authority?
A person can appeal to the First Appellate Authority if they believe that the decision of the lower authorities is incorrect or unjust. Some common grounds for appeal include:
- The decision of the lower authorities is incorrect
- The decision of the lower authorities is based on incorrect facts
- The decision of the lower authorities is arbitrary or capricious
- The decision of the lower authorities violates the provisions of the GST Act
- The decision of the lower authorities is based on an incorrect interpretation of the GST Act
What is the procedure for filing an appeal with the First Appellate Authority?
The procedure for filing an appeal with the First Appellate Authority is straightforward. The person appealing must first file a written appeal with the FAA within 30 days of the date of the decision of the lower authorities. The appeal must be filed in the form prescribed by the FAA and must include all the relevant information and evidence to support the person’s case.
Once the appeal is filed, the FAA will hear the case and consider all the evidence presented by both parties. The FAA may also call for additional evidence or ask the parties to provide additional information. After considering all the evidence, the FAA will pass an order in the matter, which may be in favor of the taxpayer or against them.
What is the role of the First Appellate Authority in the GST regime?
The role of the First Appellate Authority in the GST regime is to ensure that taxpayers receive fair and impartial treatment. The FAA has the power to hear appeals against the decisions of the GST authorities and to pass orders in the matter. The FAA also plays a crucial role in ensuring that the provisions of the GST Act are properly interpreted and implemented.
The FAA has the power to:
- Hear appeals against the decisions of the GST authorities
- Pass orders in the matter
- Consider additional evidence or ask for additional information
- Ensure that the provisions of the GST Act are properly interpreted and implemented
- Provide guidance to taxpayers on the provisions of the GST Act
Legal Appeal by a Commissioner to the First Appellate Authority under GST law?
Adjournment by the First Appellate Authority
Based on sufficient causes, the First Appellate Authority may adjourn the hearing of the appeal, wherein the reason for the same has to be recorded in writing. Furthermore, the number of adjournments allowed for a hearing is restricted to three times.
Additional Grounds for an appeal
In case an appellant wishes to add additional grounds to his appeal, which were not wilfully omitted in the grounds of appeal, the first appellate authority can allow the same at the time of the hearing under GST Law.
The decision of the First Appellate Authority under GST Law
- The First Appellate Authority can confirm, modify or annul the decision but will not refer the case back to the authority.
- The taxpayer shall be given a reasonable opportunity to show cause before the Appellate Authority issues an order to increase any fees /Penalty, confiscate higher value goods or decrease the refund or input tax credit.
- Any order for payment of unpaid/short-paid tax or wrong refunds or input tax credit wrongly availed will be passed only after the appellant is given show cause notice
The time limit for the decision of the First Appellate Authority
The First Appellate Authority is required to pass an order within a period of 1 year from the date of filing the appeal. However, if the order is stayed by an order of a Court or Tribunal, such period of stay shall be excluded from the given one-year period.
Communication of the decision
The First Appellate Authority is required to communicate the order issued to the appellant as well as to the adjudicating authority under GST Law. A copy of the order has to be sent to the jurisdictional Commissioners of CGST and SGST as well.
The Commissioner may call for a verification of records for any proceedings against the order passed by the Adjudicating Authority, on his own motion, or upon request from the Commissioner of State tax or Union Territory tax. He can further direct any officer subordinate to him to apply to the Appellate Authority to ensure its legality and propriety, subject to the following:
- 6 months – The time period allowed for such an appeal from the date on which the order was issued.
- An appeal against the order – In cases wherein the application to the First Appellate Authority is made by the authorized officer, it is considered an appeal against the order.
- Form GST APL- 02 – The final acknowledgment form as issued by the first Appellate Authority.
The revisional authority can examine the records if he is of opinion that any decision by any subordinate officer is-
- Prejudicial to the interest of the revenue
- Illegal or
- Improper or
- Not taking into account certain (whether or not available at the time of issuance of the order) or
- An observation was made by the C&AG
Furthermore, the revisional authority can stay the order for a time period as he deems fit, wherein the concerned person is provided a reasonable opportunity of being heard.
When is revision not allowed under the GST Law?
The Chief Commissioner or Commissioner will not revise the order if-
- The order is under appeal
- 6 months have not passed from the date of order (i.e., there is time left for appeal)
- More than three years have passed after the date of order
- The order has already been taken for revision
The Chief Commissioner or Commissioner can pass an order on any point which has not been raised in any appeal. Such an order must be passed before one year from the date of the appeal order or before three years.
The First Appellate Authority is an important authority in the GST regime. It plays a crucial role in ensuring that taxpayers receive fair and impartial treatment and that the provisions of the GST Act are properly interpreted and implemented. The FAA provides a valuable avenue for taxpayers to appeal against the decisions of the lower authorities
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