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Gain insights into summary assessment under the GST Act 2017. Explore provisions, scope, requirements, competent authorities, and more in this detailed analysis.

Summary assessment is in the nature of protective assessment. It is procedure where quick and fast assessment of tax liability is made. Section 64 deals with summary assessment in certain special cases to protect the interest of the revenue. It gives special powers, in exceptional  circumstances,  to the  proper officer to assess tax without giving any notice or  opportunity of hearing. In this article provisions of summary assessment are discussed.

Provision of summary assessment-

Section 64  summary assessment in certain special cases.

64. (1The proper officer may, on any evidence showing  tax liability of a person coming to his notice, with the previous permission of Additional Commissioner or Joint Commissioner, proceed to assess the tax liability of such person to protect the interest of revenue and issue an assessment order, if he has sufficient grounds to believe that any delay in doing so may adversely affect the interest of revenue:

Provided that where the taxable person to whom the liability pertains is not ascertainable and such liability pertains to supply of goods, the person in charge of such goods shall be deemed to be the taxable person liable to be assessed and liable to pay tax and any other amount due under this section.

(2) On an application made by the taxable person within thirty days from the date of receipt of order passed under sub-section (1) or on his own motion, if the Additional Commissioner or Joint Commissioner considers that such order is erroneous, he may withdraw such order and follow the procedure laid down in section 73 or section 74.

Scope of summary assessment

Section 64 empower the Proper officer to proceed summary assessment to protect the interest of revenue, where Proper officer has evidence that person has incurred a liability to pay tax and has sufficient ground to believe that delay in passing order will adversely affect the interest of revenue. In such cases proceeding required to be initiated with previous permission of jurisdictional Additional Commissioner or Joint Commissioner. It appears from the proviso that  provisions of summary assessment are applicable only in respect to supply of goods. Summary assessment  completed in order to immediate recovery of tax from the potential tax defaulter. It is not substitute for any order passed under other provisions of the act.

Requirements to invoke provisions of summary assessment.

All taxable persons are not liable to be assessed under section 64 of the act.  Where, during the course of any proceeding under the act, the proper officer has noticed that unaccounted goods are lying in the godown or vehicle and concerned taxable person is not able to account for these goods or produce any documents showing details of the goods and is of opinion that tax is payable on these goods, he may proceed to assess to tax under section 64 of the act. However, before initiation of such proceeding, there must be evidence of tax liability and the authority  should have sufficient ground to believe that delay in assessment may adversely affect the interest of revenue.

Analysis of Summary Assessment

Competent assessing authority

The Proper officer is the assessing authority for the summary assessment. However, these powers are to be exercised, with previous permission of jurisdictional Additional Commissioner or Joint Commissioner. It is pertinent to note that these powers can not be exercised without permission of specified higher authorities.

Deemed taxable person

Where any person came forward to claim the ownership of the unaccounted goods and  to pay tax thereon,  for that purpose he will be  taxable person.  However, where taxable person is not ascertainable, in view of proviso to section 64(1) of the act , the person in charge of such goods shall be deemed to be the taxable person liable to be assessed and to pay tax under this section.

No requirement of issue of notice

Neither section 64 nor rule 100 provides for issue of any notice before passing of summary assessment.  Neither any form of show cause notice is prescribed. However, opportunity to produce documents showing details of goods and to  prove that such goods are accounted  is given during the course of said proceeding.

Assessment order

The proper officer assess tax liability and pass assessment order u/s 64(1) in form  GST-ASMT -16. No any time limit has been prescribed for passing of the order. It is necessary to pass speaking order containing introduction, discussion and finding, conclusion and assessed/payable amount. While passing order applicable interest and penalty required to be levied. Composite order under all act CGST/SGST/IGST should be passed.

Withdrawal of assessment order.

Summary assessment order is subject to rectification and review. Section 64 (2) provides to withdraw erroneous  summary assessment order. Apart from the above legal remedy taxable person may avail legal remedy for withdrawal of such order if found erroneous.  Taxable person against whom summary assessment order passed can apply  (form GST-ASMT-17)for withdrawal of said order, to jurisdictional Additional Commissioner or Joint Commissioner person within thirty days of receipt of order. After considering grounds if said officer found order erroneous, he can withdraw it and direct to proper officer to determine tax liability   as per provisions of  section 73 or 74 of the act.  Where  such request of taxable person is not accepted he may file appeal against said order u/s 107 of the act. The jurisdictional Additional Commissioner or Joint Commissioner may take similar course of  action on his own motion if he find summary assessment order to be erroneous.


Motiram Kanadje, Retired Joint Commissioner of State Tax, Pune

Author can be reached via email

Disclaimer: Nothing contained in this document is to be construed as legal opinion or view of author whatsoever and the content is to be used strictly for informational and educational purposes. While due care has been taken in preparing this article, certain mistakes and omissions may creep in. The author does not accept any liability for any loss or damage of any kind arising out of any inaccurate or incomplete information in this article nor for any action taken in reliance thereon.

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May 2024