The VAT Department in Punjab has started issuing the notices for assessment for the year 2005-2006 under section 29 of Punjab Value Added Tax Act 2005 to the dealers across the state. The notices u/s 29 of PVAT Act 2005 can be issued within 3 years from the last date for filling of Annual statement i.e VAT 20 of the year concerned or the date on which the return is actually filled whichever is later.
The last date for filling of VAT 20 Annual Statement under PVAT Act is 20th November every year. The last date for filling of VAT 20 for the year 2005-2006 was 20th November 2006. Hence the limitation period for assessment of the cases for the year 2005-2006 under PVAT Act 2005 has come to an end on 20th November 2009.
Evan though the assessment of cases for the year 2005-2006 under PVAT Act has become time barred, the notices are still being issued to the dealers across the state by the department.
The notice for assessment u/s 29(3) of PVAT Act can be issued after the period of limitation as stated u/s 29 (4) if the extension is granted by the Commissioner as per proviso to section 29(4) which runs as under:
‘Provided that where circumstances so warrant, the Commissioner may, by an order in writing, allow assessment of a taxable person or of a registered person after three years, but not later than six years from the date, when annual statement was filed or due to be filed by such person, whichever is later.’
There is news that the combined requisite approval of the commissioner has been taken by the department for assessment of year 2005-2006. As is clear from the wording of the above stated proviso to section 29(4) if the circumstances so warrant the commissioner can allow assessment of an assessee even after the period of 3 years. But that order has to be in writing and that order should be separate for each assessee concerned, since the word mentioned in the proviso is a taxable person or a registered personand not taxable persons or registered persons. Therefore one order issued for all the assessees does not seem to be correct.
Hence there should be separate order for each assessee concerned but no separate order seem to have been taken. If a combined order as per proviso to section 29(4) has been issued for extension of the assessment of year 2005-2006 for all the assessees concerned It may render notices issued for 2005-2006 as illegal and invalid and is a cause of concern for the public at large. If any assessment order made in consequence of the above said notices issued without separate written order of the commissioner for each assessee comes before the appellate authority it is likely to be quashed for the want of legality and will result in litigation.