The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs has said that the extra time for various proceedings under law in view of the pandemic was limited only to filing appeals by parties and it does not prevent officials from carrying out their quasi-judicial work
NEW DELHI :
The government has clarified that a relief granted by the Supreme Court in April by way of extra time for various proceedings under law in view of the pandemic was limited only to filing appeals by parties and that it does not prevent officials from carrying out their quasi-judicial work.
The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has in a circular issued on Tuesday interpreted that the apex court’s order does not apply to the compliance requirements of taxpayers and the routine decision making of tax officers who perform quasi-judicial duties.
The apex court had on 27 April ruled that the period starting from 15 March 2020 till a time to be specified will not count as far as the time limits prescribed for filing appeals or other proceedings under various laws and that it should be excluded. CBIC’s clarification is based on a legal view it has obtained, given the far-reaching nature of the apex court’s ruling.
According to the clarification from the indirect tax body, the extension of timelines granted by the court is applicable to appeals required to be filed before joint or additional commissioner (appeals), commissioner (appeals), Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling, tribunal and various courts against any quasi-judicial order or where proceeding for revision or rectification of any order is required to be made. This extension of timeline is not applicable to any other proceeding under GST laws, the tax authority said.
Experts said the tax authority’s clarification defines the scope of the apex court’s relaxation and limits it to filing of appeals or petitions for revision or rectification of any order.
“This clarification will restrict the blanket extension given by the apex court due to the pandemic, and now tax authorities will be in a rush to complete all the pending proceedings under the GST laws," said Rajat Mohan, senior partner at chartered accountants firm AMRG & Associates.
CBIC also specified that compliance by the taxpayers or any proceedings required by them would continue to be governed by the statutory provisions as well as any extensions given under those provisions. Various orders of the Supreme Court would not apply to these, CBIC said.
It also clarified that tax authorities can continue to hear and dispose of proceedings where they are performing the functions of a quasi-judicial authority. This includes disposal of application for refund, application for revocation of cancellation of registration and adjudication proceedings of demand notices. Also, appeals which are filed and are pending, can continue to be heard and resolved, said CBIC.