If an appellant feels aggrieved by any findings, observations or conclusions made by the authority granting the order, they can consider initiating an appeal. It is the most important part of the appeal. Grounds of appeal in GST represent those issues which show the nature of the dispute between the assessee and the revenue.
The government is gearing to set up an online post-audit functionality. Considering an evolving law like GST, businesses are required to understand the nitty-gritties of Departmental Audits and Litigation under GST to ensure they are well-prepared to defend their cases.
Audits are performed not just on a scheduled basis, but also if a questionable record or change in the GST filing is discovered. Hence, it is imperative to collate, maintain and validate data required for departmental audits on a proactive basis and understand concepts like GST appeals.
What is GST Appeal?
Any legal appeal is an attempt to have the judgement of a lower court reconsidered in front of a higher court. When there are any legal difficulties or disputes, appeals are made. You can read our article on GST Appeal and Legal Disputes to know more.
Levels of appeals under GST
There are 4 levels of appeals and are made to different authorities under different acts.
Level 1 – If the order is passed by Adjudicating Authority then you can appeal to First Appellate Authority under section 107 of the GST act.
Level 2 – If the order is passed by First Appellate Authority then you can appeal to the Appellate Tribunal under section 109, 110 of the GST act.
Level 3 – If the order is passed by Appellate Tribunal then you can appeal to High Court under sections 111 – 116 of the GST act.
Level 4 – If the order is passed by High Court then you can appeal to Supreme Court under sections 117-118 of the GST act.
Filing a GST Appeal
An aggrieved person can file a GST appeal for all the above-mentioned orders. It needs to be filed in Form GST APL-01, along with relevant documents.
The provisional acknowledgement will be granted as soon as the appeal is submitted. However, only after manually submitting Form GST APL-01, a copy of the challenged order, and a declaration of the facts and grounds for the appeal within 7 days of the receipt of the provisional acknowledgement, will the final acknowledgement that has the appeal number, be issued.
Important points to note before drafting grounds of GST Appeal
Before drafting the grounds of appeal, one must carry out an in-depth study of all the documents including – the GST Returns, copies of communications received from the proper officer timely, copies of SCN (show cause notice), replies filed in response to the SCN, copies of proceedings/orders or decision passed by the adjudicating authority, copy of the appellate order. In order to prepare for drafting grounds of a GST appeal, having the documentation in place is extremely important.
Grounds of appeal in GST
If an appellant feels aggrieved by any findings, observations or conclusions made by the authority granting the order, they can consider initiating an appeal. It is the most important part of the appeal. Grounds of appeal in GST represent those issues which show the nature of the dispute between the assessee and the revenue. A ground of appeal is in fact nature of a claim thus it is distinguished from arguments because arguments are made in support of claim. There may be several arguments in support of a claim and all the arguments cannot form the ground of appeal.
Here are some tips to draft the grounds of appeal effectively:
- Every memorandum of the GST appeal has to be written in English
- Grounds of Appeal need to be crisp and concise
- Each ground has to be given a distinct head
- Grounds must not contain any arguments or narration of any event, even if such arguments/narratives are required to bring out the nature of the dispute
- Grounds should be numbered consecutively
What is the appeal fee in GST?
- The appeals need to be made in prescribed forms along with the required fees. The fee will be – The full amount of tax, interest, fine, fee and penalty arising from the challenged order, as admitted by the appellant, AND –10% of the disputed amount.
- Fees won’t be charged in cases where an officer or the Commissioner of GST is appealing
What is the time limit for filing an appeal in GST?
- The appeal needs to be filed within three months from the date of communication of order by the adjudicating authority.
- However, under the rule of condonation appeal filing delays, a maximum of one further month is permitted, and that is only after providing a valid justification for the delay and supporting documentation.
What are appealable orders?
Listed below are the orders against which the aggrieved person can file an appeal:
- Enforcement Order
- Assessment or Demand Order
- Registration Order
- Refund Order
- Assessment Non-Demand Order
- LUT Order
When can the appeal NOT be filed?
To control the appeals process and save needless legal costs, the Board or the State Government may, at the Council’s advice, set monetary limits for appeals by the GST officer.
An appeal cannot be made against every decision. The following decisions made by a GST officer cannot be appealed:
- Order to transfer the proceedings from one officer to another officer;
- Order to seize or retain books of account and other documents;
- Order sanctioning prosecution under the Act; or
- Order allowing payment of tax and other amounts in instalments
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 actionables,
- 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. Email: email@example.com.