No opportunity of being heard to taxpayers for suspension of registration

The CBIC vide Notification No. 94/2020-Central Tax, dated December 22, 2020 2020 issued Central Goods and Services Tax Rules (Fourteenth Amendment), 2020 amending Rule 21A of the Central Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017 (CGST Rules) in following manner:

  • The words “after affording the said person a reasonable opportunity of being heard” has been omitted from clause (2) of Rule 21A of the CGST Rules meaning thereby that no opportunity of being heard would be given to the taxpayer for suspension of registration, where the proper officer has reasons to believe that the registration of person is liable to be cancelled under Section 29 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (“CGST Act”) (i.e., Cancellation or suspension of registration) or under Rule 21 of the CGST Rules (i.e., Registration to be cancelled in certain cases).
  • Inserted new sub-rule (2A): Where there is a comparison of the return i.e. GSTR 3B under Section 39 of the CGST Act, furnished by a registered person with the details of outward supplies furnished in GSTR 1 under Section 37 of the CGST Act or inward supplies derived based on the details of outward supplies furnished by his suppliers in their GSTR-1 and significant differences / anomalies indicating contravention of CGST Act or Rules are discovered, the department shall now serve a notice in Form GST REG 31 to call for explanation as to why registration should not be cancelled, for which the registered person is required to submit his reply within 30 days of such notice.
  • Where a registration is suspended, no refund can be availed by the taxpayer under Section 54 of the CGST Act (i.e., Refund of tax) during the period of suspension of registration.
  • Inserted proviso to sub-rule (4) to allow proper officer to revoke suspension of registration anytime during the pendency of the proceedings for cancellation.

Amended Rule 21 of the CGST Rules, now reads as under w.e.f. December 22, 2020:

“Rule 21A. Suspension of registration.-

(1) Where a registered person has applied for cancellation of registration under rule 20, the registration shall be deemed to be suspended from the date of submission of the application or the date from which the cancellation is sought, whichever is later, pending the completion of proceedings for cancellation of registration under rule 22.

(2) Where the proper officer has reasons to believe that the registration of a person is liable to be cancelled under section 29 or under rule 21, he may suspend the registration of such person with effect from a date to be determined by him, pending the completion of the proceedings for cancellation of registration under rule 22.

(2A) Where, a comparison of the returns furnished by a registered person under section 39 with

(a) the details of outward supplies furnished in FORM GSTR-1; or

(b) the details of inward supplies derived based on the details of outward supplies furnished by his suppliers in their FORM GSTR-1,

or such other analysis, as may be carried out on the recommendations of the Council, show that there are significant differences or anomalies indicating contravention of the provisions of the Act or the rules made thereunder, leading to cancellation of registration of the said person, his registration shall be suspended and the said person shall be intimated in FORM GST REG-31, electronically, on the common portal, or by sending a communication to his e-mail address provided at the time of registration or as amended from time to time, highlighting the said differences and anomalies and asking him to explain, within a period of thirty days, as to why his registration shall not be cancelled.

(3) A registered person, whose registration has been suspended under sub-rule (1) or sub-rule (2) or sub-rule (2A), shall not make any taxable supply during the period of suspension and shall not be required to furnish any return under section 39.

(3A) A registered person, whose registration has been suspended under sub-rule (2) or sub-rule (2A), shall not be granted any refund under section 54, during the period of suspension of his registration.

Explanation.-For the purposes of this sub-rule, the expression “shall not make any taxable supply” shall mean that the registered person shall not issue a tax invoice and, accordingly, not charge tax on supplies made by him during the period of suspension.

(4) The suspension of registration under sub-rule (1) or sub-rule (2) or sub-rule (2A) shall be deemed to be revoked upon completion of the proceedings by the proper officer under rule 22 and such revocation shall be effective from the date on which the suspension had come into effect.

Provided that the suspension of registration under this rule may be revoked by the proper officer, anytime during the pendency of the proceedings for cancellation, if he deems fit.

(5) Where any order having the effect of revocation of suspension of registration has been passed, the provisions of clause (a) of sub-section (3) of section 31 and section 40 in respect of the supplies made during the period of suspension and the procedure specified therein shall apply.

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DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are strictly of the author and A2Z Taxcorp LLP. The contents of this article are solely for informational purpose. It does not constitute professional advice or recommendation of firm. Neither the author nor firm and its affiliates accepts any liabilities for any loss or damage of any kind arising out of any information in this article nor for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

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