Daily Dose of GST Update By CA Pradeep Jain

Continuing with the analysis of the revised GST law, we shall today discuss changes bought in the definitions of ‘Adjudicating Authority’ and ‘Agent’ as provided in the law:

1. 2(4) Adjudicating Authority: The new definition reads as follows:

“Adjudicating Authority means any authority competent to pass any order or decision under this Act, but does not include the Board, the Revisional Authority, Authority for Advance Ruling, Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling, the First Appellate Authority and the Appellate Tribunal;”

Under the earlier definition in Model GST law, only Board, First appellate authority and Appellate tribunal was excluded. But when compared to this new definition given in revised GST law, then it can be noted that exclusion has been extended to Revisionary authority,  Authority for Advance Ruling and Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling is also excluded. It means the Revisional Authority as well as Advance Ruling Authorities will not be quasi-judicial authority for adjudicating. The Revisional authority can review the orders under Section 99. As the revisional authority has not been considered as adjudicaiton officer then the appeal cannot be filed before first appellate authority under Section 98. It created a confusion in our mind. But the Section 101 says that the appeal against the revisional authority can be filed before the Appellate tribunal.

2. 2(5) Agent: The new definition reads as follows:

“Agent means a person, including a factor, broker, commission agent, arhatia, del credere agent, an auctioneer or any other mercantile agent, by whatever name called, who carries on the business of supply or receipt of goods or services on behalf of another, whether disclosed or not;”

Whereas the earlier model GST law gave the definition of “agent” as under:-

(5) “agent” means a person who carries on the business of supply or receipt of goods and/or services on behalf of another, whether disclosed or not and includes a factor, broker, commission agent, arhatia, del credere agent, intermediary or an auctioneer or any other mercantile agent, by whatever name called, and whether of the same description as hereinbefore mentioned or not;

When compared definitions under earlier law or under new revised GST law, it can be noted although the complete definition has been changed but the major differences are that  the term “intermediary” has been deleted from the new definition as well as the words ” whether of the same description as hereinafter mentioned or not” As a result the intermediaries will not be treated as agents and consequently it will have an effect wherever the word agent appears in the act. Intermediaries would not be included in the definition of suppliers too thus giving them a whole new status under the GST act. But the department will say that they are covered under broker, factor or any other entry given under the definition. But another interpretation that deletion of words “whether of the same description…..” has been deleted then person dealing in same type of business will not be termed as agent. But other side will say that definition is saying that it is inclusive definition and any person working on behalf of other will come under this definition. The comparison of two definitions are creating confusion otherwise it covers every person. Hence, this definition does not have any material change.

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