Explore the amnesty scheme for filing appeals under GST for taxpayers who missed the deadline. Understand the recommendations of the GST Council, details of Notification No. 53/2023-Central Tax, and advisory by GSTN. Key points include filing appeals, pre-deposit requirements, and procedures for previously rejected appeals. Don’t miss the golden opportunity for compliance and resolution.

Golden Opportunity for the taxpayers who missed the appeal filing deadline within the prescribed time limit or whose appeal was rejected due to time barred against the orders passed on or before 31st March, 2023. In the 52nd GST Council meeting, which was held on 7th October, 2023 in New Delhi, the GST Council has recommended an amnesty scheme for filing of appeals against demand orders in cases where appeal could not be filed within the allowable time period and this recommendation was officially notified by CBIC vide Notification No. 53/2023-Central Tax dated 2nd November, 2023.

Recommendations of GST Council:

The Council has recommended providing an amnesty scheme through a special procedure under section 148 of CGST Act, 2017 for taxable persons, who could not file an appeal under section 107 of the said Act, against the demand order under section 73 or 74 of CGST Act, 2017 passed on or before the 31st day of March, 2023, or whose appeal against the said order was rejected solely on the grounds that the said appeal was not filed within the time period specified under section 107(1) of CGST Act, 2017. In all such cases, filing of appeal by the taxpayers will be allowed against such orders upto 31st January, 2024, subject to the condition of payment of an amount of pre-deposit of 12.5% of the tax under dispute subject to a maximum of twenty-five crore rupees, out of which at least 20% of pre-deposit (i.e. 2.5% of the tax under dispute) should be debited from Electronic Cash Ledger. This will facilitate a large number of taxpayers, who could not file appeal in the past within the specified time period.

NOTIFICATION NO. 53/2023-CENTRAL TAX:

1. In exercise of the powers conferred by section 148 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (12 of 2017) (hereinafter referred to as the said Act), the Central Government, on the recommendations of the Council, hereby notifies taxable persons who could not file an appeal against the order passed by the proper officer on or before the 31st day of March, 2023 under section 73 or 74 of the said Act (hereinafter referred to as the said order), within the time period specified in sub-section (1) of section 107 read with sub-section (4) of section 107 of the said Act, and the taxable persons whose appeal against the said order was rejected solely on the grounds that the said appeal was not filed within the time period specified in section 107, as the class of persons (hereinafter referred to as the said person) who shall follow the following special procedure for filing appeals in such cases:

2 The said person shall file an appeal against the said order in FORM GST APL-01 in accordance with sub- section (1) of Section 107 of the said Act, on or before 31st day of January 2024:

Provided that an appeal against the said order filed in accordance with the provisions of section 107 of the said Act, and pending before the Appellate Authority before the issuance of this notification, shall be deemed to have been filed in accordance with this notification, if it fulfills the condition specified at para 3 below.

3. No appeal shall be filed under this notification, unless the appellant has paid-

a. in full, such part of the amount of tax, interest, fine, fee and penalty arising from the impugned order, as is admitted by him; and

b. a sum equal to twelve and a half per cent. of the remaining amount of tax in dispute arising from the said order, subject to a maximum of twenty-five crore rupees, in relation to which the appeal has been filed, out of which at least twenty percent should have been paid by debiting from the Electronic Cash Ledger.

4. No refund shall be granted on account of this notification till the disposal of the appeal, in respect of any amount paid by the appellant, either on their own or on the directions of any authority (or) court, in excess of the amount specified in para 3 of this notification before the issuance of this notification, for filing an appeal under sub- section (1) of Section 107 of the said Act.

5. No appeal under this notification shall be admissible in respect of a demand not involving tax.

6. The provisions of Chapter XIII of the Central Goods and Service Tax Rules, 2017 (12 of 2017), shall mutatis mutandis, apply to an appeal filed under this notification.

Advisory by GSTN

GSTN has issued Advisory on dated 28th November 2023 for the procedures and provisions related to the amnesty for taxpayers who missed the appeal filing deadline for the orders passed on or before 31st March, 2023.

1. The GST Council, in its 52nd Council meeting, recommended granting amnesty to taxpayers who could not file an appeal under section 107 of CGST Act, 2017 against the demand order under section 73 or 74, passed on or before 31st March, 2023 or whose appeal against the said order was rejected due to not filed within specified time frame in sub-section (1) of section 107.

2. In Compliance with the above said GST Council recommendation, the Government has issued Notification No. 53/2023-Central Tax.

3. Taxpayers can now file an appeal in FORM GST APL-01 on GST Portal on or before 31st January, 2024, for the order passed by the proper officer on or before 31st March, 2023. It is further advised that the taxpayers should make payments for entertaining the appeal by the Appellate Officer as per the provisions of Notification No. 53/2023-Central Tax. The GST Portal allows taxpayers to choose the mode of payment (electronic credit/cash ledger), and it is the responsibility of the taxpayer to select the appropriate ledgers and make the correct payments. Further, the office of the Appellate Authority shall check the correctness of the payment before entertaining the appeal and any appeal filed without proper payment may be dealt with as per the legal provisions.

4. If a taxpayer has already filed an appeal and wants it to be covered by the benefit of Amnesty Scheme, would need to make differential payments to comply with Notification No. 53/2023-Central Tax. The payment should be made against the demand order using the “Payment towards demand” facility available on the GST Portal. The navigation step for making this payment is provided: Login >>Services >>Ledgers>> Payment towards demand.

5. Taxpayers who have previously filed an appeal but it was rejected as time barred in APL-02 by the Appellate authority, then the taxpayer would be able to refile the appeal. However, in case, the taxpayers face any issue while re-filing APL-01, a ticket shall be raised on the Grievance redressal portal: https://selfservice.gstsystem.in. The taxpayer shall select the Category “Amnesty Scheme” and the sub-category “Amnesty scheme- Issue in appeal filing” while raising a ticket.

6. Furthermore, if the Appellate authority has issued a rejection order in APL-04 due to the appeal application being time-barred, then the taxpayer has to approach the respective Appellate authority office well in advance to comply with the dates in the said notification. The Appellate authority after checking the eligibility of the taxpayer for the amnesty scheme will forward the case to GSTN through the State Nodal officer.

7. Also, it is important to note that for the APL 04 issued cases no direct representations will be entertained by GSTN or through the Grievance redressal portal. APL 04-issued cases have to be compulsorily forwarded through the State Nodal officer.

8. Post receiving the case from the State Nodal Officer, GSTN will enable the taxpayer to file an appeal against the concerned order.

Summary:

1. Appeal can be filed against the demand orders passed on or before 31st March, 2023.

2. Appeal has to be filed in FORM GST APL-01 on the GST Portal on or before 31st January, 2024.

3. 5% of the tax in dispute, subject to maximum of rupees 25 crore, should be pre-deposited before filing appeal, out of which at least 25% should have been paid from the Cash Ledger.

4. For previously filed appeal, would need to make differential payments and refile fresh appeal.

5. In case where appeal has already been rejected in APL-04 due to the appeal application being time-barred, then the taxpayer has to approach the respective Appellate authority, the Appellate authority after checking the eligibility of the taxpayer for the amnesty scheme will forward the case to GSTN through the State Nodal officer and GSTN will enable the taxpayer to file an appeal against the concerned order.

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The author can be contacted at gstrfbharat@gmail.com His mobile number is +91-9891112120.

DISCLAIMER: This publication serves as a general guide for informational purposes only. The references and content provided are for educational purposes and should not be considered as legal advice. We assume no liability for any losses incurred directly or indirectly through the use or reliance upon the information or conclusions presented in this publication. Prior to taking any action based on this publication, it is recommended that you seek professional advice. This work is solely intended to contribute to the subject of GST and serves the best interests of the profession.

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