F. No. CBEC-20/10/07/2019-GST
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Indirect Taxes Customs
GST Policy Wing
Dated: 22nd June, 2020
The Principal Director General,
Directorate General of GST Intelligence,
2nd Floor. Wing- VI, West Block- VIII
New Delhi- 110066
Subject: Reference form DGGI on Cross empowerment under GST. reg.
I am directed to refer to DGGI letter F.No.574/CE/66/2020/Inv./15308 dated 26.05.2020 on the issues related to cross empowerment of officers in terms of provisions of section 6 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (hereinafter referred to as “the CGST Act”).
2. Issue raised in the reference is whether intelligence based enforcement actions initiated by the Central Tax officers against those taxpayers which are assigned to the State Tax administration gets covered under section 6(1) of the CGST Act and the corresponding provisions of the SGST/UTGST Acts or whether a specific notification is required to be issued for cross empowerment on the same lines as notification No. 39/2017-CT dated 13.10.2017 authorizing the State Officers for the purpose or refunds under section 54 and 55 of the CGST Act.
3.1 The issue has been examined in the light of relevant legal provisions under the CGST Act, 2017. It is observed that Section 6 of the CGST Act provides for cross empowerment of State Tax officers and Central Tax officers and reads as:-
“6. (1) Without prejudice to the provisions of this Act, the officers appointed under the State Goods and Services Tax Act or the Union Territory Goods and Services Tax Act are authorised to be the proper officers for the purposes- of this Act, Subject to such conditions as the Government shall, on the recommendations of the Council, by Notification specify.
3.2. Thus in terms of sub-section (1) of section 6 of the CGST Act and sub-section (1) of section 6 of the respective State GST Acts respective State Tax officers and the Central Tax officers respectively are authorised to be the proper officers for the purposes of respective Acts and no separate notification is required for exercising the said powers in this case by the Central Tax Officers under the provisions of the State GST Act. It is noteworthy in this context that the registered person in GST are registered under both the CGST Act and the respective SGST/UTGST Act.
3.3 The confusion seems to be arising from the fact that, the said sub-section provides for notification by the Government if such cross empowerment is to be subjected to conditions. It means that notification would be required only if any conditions are to be imposed. For example, Notification No. 39/2017-CT dated 13.10.2017 restricts powers of the State Tax officers for the purposes of refund and they have been specified as the proper officers only under section 54 and 55 of the CGST Act and not under rule 96 of the CGST Rules, 2017 (IGST Refund on exports). If no notification is issued to impose any condition, it means that the officers of State and Centre have been appointed as proper officer for all the purpose of the CGST Act and SGST Acts.
4. Further, it may kindly be noted that a notification under section 6(1) of the CGST Act would be part of subordinate legislation which instead of empowering the officer under the Act, can only be used to impose conditions on the powers given to the officers by the section. In the absence or any such conditions, the power of Cross- empowerment under section 6(1) of the CGST Act is absolute and not conditional.
Deputy Commissioner (GST)
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