Finance Ministry Unveils Amnesty Scheme Procedure for GST Appeals, Eases Process for Taxpayers
In a significant move aimed at providing relief to taxpayers entangled in the complexities of GST appeals, the Finance Ministry has released a detailed procedure outlining the process for filing appeals under the newly introduced amnesty scheme. The initiative is expected to benefit a substantial number of taxpayers who, for various reasons, could not file appeals within the stipulated time frame in the past.
The comprehensive procedure, issued on November 2 based on recommendations, particularly addresses the concerns of GST assesses who were unable to file appeals under section 107 of the CGST (Central Goods and Services Tax) Act, 2017. This includes those against the demand order under section 73 or 74 of the CGST Act, 2017, passed on or before March 31, 2023, or whose appeals were rejected due to non-compliance with the specified time frame.
As part of the process, taxpayers can now initiate an appeal by filling out FORM GST APL-01 on the GST portal. The window for filing these appeals extends until January 31, 2024, specifically for orders passed on or before March 31, 2023. To proceed with the appeal, taxpayers are advised to make necessary payments, as per the requirements set forth by the Appellate officer.
The GST portal offers flexibility in payment modes, allowing taxpayers to choose between electronic credit or cash ledger. Notably, a pre-deposit amount equivalent to 12.5% of the tax under dispute is required, with a minimum of 20% (i.e., 2.5% of the tax under dispute) to be debited from the electronic cash ledger.
To ensure the correctness of the payment, the office of the Appellate Authority will conduct a thorough check before entertaining the appeal. Any appeal submitted without proper payment may face consequences in line with legal provisions.
For taxpayers who have previously filed appeals and wish to avail themselves of the amnesty scheme's benefits, differential payments must be made against the demand order using the designated "payment towards demand" facility on the GST portal.
In cases where appeals were rejected as time-barred in APL-02 by the Appellate authority, taxpayers now have the opportunity to refile the appeal. In the event of any issues during the re-filing process (APL-01), a grievance ticket can be raised on the Grievance Redressal Portal.
However, it's crucial to note that for APL-04 issued cases, direct representations will not be entertained by GSTN or through the Grievance Redressal Portal. Instead, these cases must be mandatorily forwarded through the State Nodal Officer. After receiving the case, GSTN will facilitate the taxpayer in filing an appeal against the concerned order.
This latest development is expected to bring substantial relief to taxpayers, streamlining the appeal process and offering a second chance to those who may have faced challenges in adhering to previous deadlines. The Finance Ministry's proactive approach aligns with the ongoing efforts to simplify GST procedures and enhance ease of compliance for businesses across the country.