Central Excise Officers are empowered under provisions of Section 11(2) to issue an order to any other person from whom money is due to such person from whom recovery of arrears is required to be made. Such notice for recovery to the other person is generally referred as Garnishee Notice.

CBEC vide Circular No. 996/3/2015-CX, Dated: February 28, 2015 has clarified that recovery officers have the powers to add, amend, vary or rescind any Garnishee Notice issued while suitably safeguarding the interest of revenue.

CBEC has also allowed the Commissioners to discretionally recover arrears of taxes, interest and penalty in instalments. However, the power for granting sanction to pay arrears in instalments shall be exercised by the Commissioners and Chief Commissioner’s upto a maximum of 24 monthly instalments and 36 monthly instalments respectively.

The facility to pay arrears in instalments shall generally be granted to companies which show a reasonable cause for payment of arrears in instalments such as the company being under temporary financial distress. Approval to pay in instalments and the number of instalments should be fixed such that an appropriate balance between recovery of arrears and survival of business is maintained taking into consideration the overall financial situation of the company, its assets, liabilities, income and expenses. Frequent defaulters may not be allowed payment of arrears in instalments. The decision shall be taken on a case to case basis taking into consideration the facts of the case, interest of the revenue, track record of the company, its financial situation.

The Commissioner also reserves the power to cancel the permission to pay arrears in instalments which may be resorted to in cases of default in the payment of instalments or when the company is becoming financial unviable and there is likelihood of winding up of business.

CIRCULAR NO. 996/3/2015-CX, Dated: February 28, 2015

Sub: Recovery of arrears in installments and amendment of Garnishee Notice – reg.

Your attention is invited to provisions of sub-section (2) of section 11 of the Central Excise Act, 1944. Central Excise Officers are empowered under this provision to issue an order to any other person from whom money is due to such person from whom recovery of arrears is required to be made. Such notice for recovery to the other person is generally referred as Garnishee Notice. Similar provisions are contained in section 142(1)(d) of the Customs Act, 1962 and section 87(b) of the Finance Act, 1994 . It has been brought to the notice of the Board  that  clarification  is  required  regarding  powers  of  recovery  officer  to  amend  or withdraw the Garnishee Notice.

2. The issue has been examined. There are occasions when the assessee comes forward for payment of arrears, once Garnishee Notice are issued to the persons from whom money is due to the assessee. There would be a practical need to amend or withdraw the Garnishee Notice issued in such situations. Further, section 21 of the General Clauses Act, 1897 clearly provides that power to issue an order includes power to add, amend, vary or rescind the order.  Furthermore,   an  interpretation   that  Garnishee  Notice  cannot  be  amended  or rescinded would make the provisions unworkable. Such interpretations  should be avoided in law.

3. In view of the above, it is hereby clarified that recovery officers do have powers to add, amend, vary or rescind any Garnishee Notice issued. However, the interest of revenue has to be suitably safeguarded.

4. Attention is also invited to the issue of recovery of arrears in installments.  On Central Excise side, three circulars/instructionshave  been issued in the past viz. instructions from F. No. 289/10/91-CX.9  dt 18-3-1991,  Circular  no. 32/32/94/CX  dt. 11-4-94  and Circular  no. 208/42/96-CX  dt.  2-5-1996.  There  is  a  need  to  provide  uniform  instructions regarding.

facility  to  pay  arrears  in  installments  in  Central  Excise,  Service  Tax  and  Customs.It  has therefore  been  decided  that  in  supersession   of  all  earlier  circulars  and instructions, following   instructions   shall   be   followed   hereafter   to   allow   payment   of   arrears   in installments  under the Central Excise Act, 1944, Chapter V of the Finance Act, 1994 (for Service tax) and the Customs Act, 1962.

5. It has been  decided  by the  Board  to allow  recovery  of arrears  of taxes,  interest  and penalty in installments. The power to allow such payment in monthly installments shall be discretionary  and shall  be  exercised  by  the  Commissioners  for  granting  sanction  to  pay arrears in installments upto a maximum of 24 monthly installments and by the Chief Commissioners for granting sanction to pay arrears in monthly installments greater than 24 and upto a maximum of 36 monthly installments.

6. The facility to pay arrears in installments shall generally be granted to companies which show a reasonable cause for payment of arrears in installments such as the company being under temporary financial distress. Approval to pay in installments and the number of installments should be fixed such that an appropriate balance between recovery of arrears and  survival  of  business  is  maintained  taking  into  consideration   the  overall  financial situation of the company, its assets, liabilities, income and expenses. Frequent defaulters may not be allowed payment of arrears in installments.  The decision shall be taken on a case to case basis taking into consideration the facts of the case, interest of the revenue, track record of the company its financial situation.

7. The application for allowing payment of arrears shall be made to the jurisdictional Commissioner giving full justification for the same. The approval of the application should be in writing with due acknowledgment taken on record.The permission should clearly identify the number of installment and the month from which the payments of installments should begin and should also clearly stipulate that in case of default in payment of installments, the permission shall be withdrawn and action shall be taken for recovery of arrears.

8. For this purpose, Commissioner shall also exercise the power to cancel the permission to pay arrears in installments.  Cancellation  should  be resorted  to in cases of default in the payment of installments or when the company is becoming financial unviable and there is likelihood of winding up of business. After cancelling the permission to pay in installments, action should be taken forthwith for recovery of arrears.

9. Any difficulty in implementing  the circular may be brought to the notice of the Board. Hindi version would follow.

F. No. 207/02/2015-CX.6

(Rohan)
Under Secretary to the Government of India

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Category : Excise Duty (4172)
Type : Circulars (7888) Notifications/Circulars (32653)
Tags : Budget (1957) Budget 2015-16 (272) Excise Duty Notifications (2807)

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