Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has made an important amendment to its previous instruction dated 21.8.2020, as detailed in an instruction issued on 28th July 2022. The amendment allows for the virtual conduct of personal hearings at the request of the assessee.
The key change in the amendment is in Para 5 of the initial instruction, which now states that the adjudicating or appellate authority will conduct personal hearings in a virtual mode only if the assessee requests this. Importantly, virtual hearings are not mandatory. If an assessee opts not to use the virtual mode, the personal hearings will be held in a physical mode.
This change allows for greater flexibility for assessees and recognizes the different levels of accessibility and comfort with technology across the taxpayer base. It’s a responsive move that acknowledges the need for procedural flexibility during these unprecedented times.
Government of India
Ministry of Finance,
Deptt. Of Revenue
CBIC (Judicial Cell)
New Delhi dated 28th July 2022
AMENDMENT TO INSTRUCTION DATED 21.08.2020
Subject: Revised guidelines of conduct of personal hearing dated 21st August 2020
With the approval of competent authority, it has been decided to amend the pars 5 of the instruction dated 21.8.2020 to read as under-
“5. The conduct of personal hearing by adjudicating/ appellate authority shall be done in the virtual mode only at the request of the assessee. The virtual mode of hearing shall not be mandatory For the assessees not opting for the virtual mode, the personal hearings shall be taken in physical mode.
2. Difficulty faced, if any, in implementation of the aforesaid instructions may be brought to the notice of Board immediately.
(Bhagwat P. Sharma)
DS (Review), CBIC