An advance ruling under GST helps the applicant in planning his activities, which are liable for payment of GST, well in advance. It also brings certainty in determining the tax liability, as the ruling given by the Authority for Advance Ruling is binding on the applicant as well as Government authorities. Further, it helps in avoiding long drawn and expensive litigation at a later date. Seeking an advance ruling under GST is inexpensive and the procedure is simple and expeditious. It thus provides certainty and transparency to a taxpayer with respect to an issue which may potentially cause a dispute with the tax administration.
“Advance ruling” means a decision provided by the Authority or the Appellate Authority to an applicant on matters or on questions specified in sub-section (2) of section 97 or sub-section (1) of section 100 of the CGST Act, 2017, in relation to the supply of goods or services or both being undertaken or proposed to be undertaken by the applicant.
Objectives of Advance Ruling under GST
The broad objectives for setting up a mechanism of Advance Ruling include:
- provide certainty in tax liability in advance, in relation to an activity proposed to be undertaken by the applicant;
- attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI);
- reduce litigation;
- pronounce ruling expeditiously in transparent and inexpensive manner;
- classification of any goods or services or both;
- applicability of a notification issued under the provisions of this Act;
- determination of time and value of supply of goods or services or both;
- admissibility of input tax credit of tax paid or deemed to have been paid;
- determination of the liability to pay tax on any goods or services or both;
- whether applicant is required to be registered;
- whether any particular thing done by the applicant with respect to any goods or services or both amounts to or results in a supply of goods or services or both, within the meaning of that term.
The Authority for Advance Ruling (AAR) and the Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling (AAAR) constituted under the provisions of a State Goods and Services Tax Act or Union Territory Goods and Services Tax Act shall be deemed to be the Authority for advance ruling (AAR) and Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling (AAAR) in respect of that State or Union territory under the CGST Act, 2017 also.
The Government shall appoint officers not below the rank of Joint Commissioner as member of the Authority for Advance Ruling.
To whom the Advance Ruling under GST is applicable
An advance ruling pronounced by AAR or AAAR shall be binding only on the applicant who has sought the advance ruling and on the concerned officer or the jurisdictional officer in respect of the applicant. This clearly means that an advance ruling is not applicable to similarly placed other taxable persons in the State. It is only limited to the person who has applied for an advance ruling.
- An application for obtaining an advance ruling under sub-section (1) of section 97 shall be made on the common portal in FORM GST ARA-01 and shall be accompanied by a fee of five thousand rupees under SGST head.
- Upon receipt of an application, the AAR shall send a copy of application to the officer in whose jurisdiction the applicant falls and call for all relevant records. The AAR may then examine the application along with the records and may also hear the applicant. Thereafter the AAR will pass an order either admitting or rejecting the application.
- Application for advance ruling shall not be admitted in cases where the question raised in the application is already pending or decided in any proceedings in the case of an applicant under any of the provisions of CGST Act.
- If the application is rejected, it should be only after an opportunity of being heard is provided to the applicant and by way of a speaking order giving the reasons for rejection.
- If the application is admitted, the AAR shall pronounce its ruling within ninety days of receipt of application. Before giving its ruling, it shall examine the application and any further material furnished by the applicant or by the concerned departmental officer.
- Before giving the ruling, AAR must hear the applicant or his authorised representative as well as the jurisdictional officers of CGST/SGST.
- If there is difference of opinion between the two members of AAR, they shall refer the point or points on which they differ to the AAAR for hearing the issue. If the members of AAAR are also unable to come to a common conclusion in regard to the point(s) referred to them by AAR, then it shall be deemed that no advance ruling can be given in respect of the question on which difference persists at the level of AAAR.
Appeals against order of AAR under GST:
- An appeal against the advance ruling issued under sub-section (6) of section 98 shall be made by an applicant on the common portal in FORM GST ARA-02 and shall be accompanied by a fee of ten thousand rupees to be deposited in the manner specified in section 49.
- An appeal against the advance ruling issued under sub-section (6) of section 98 shall be made by the concerned officer or the jurisdictional officer referred to in section 100 on the common portal in FORM GST ARA-03 and no fee shall be payable by the said officer for filing the appeal.
- Any appeal must be filed within thirty days from the date on which the advance ruling is communicated to the concerned officer, the jurisdictional officer and
- The Appellate Authority must pass an order after hearing the parties to the appeal within a period of ninety days of the filing of an appeal. If members of AAAR differ on any point referred to in appeal, it shall be deemed that no advance ruling is issued in respect of the question under appeal.
To conclude it can be stated that the law makes a comprehensive provision for advance rulings to ensure that disputes are minimal. Timeline are also given within which the ruling is to be given by the concerned authority. The aim is to provide certainty to the taxpayer with respect to his obligations under the GST Act and an expeditious ruling, so that the relationship between the taxpayer and administration is smooth and transparent and helps to avoid unnecessary litigation.
# AAR- Authority for Advance Ruling
#AAAR- Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling
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