The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has clarified that extension of time limit for tax-related matters as per recent Supreme Court order is restricted only to quasi-judicial and judicial matters relating to petitions, applications, suits and appeals and will not impact actions such as scrutiny of returns, issuance of summons, search, enquiry or investigations and even consequential arrest in accordance with GST law.
In a letter to all Principal Chief Commissioners and Director Generals, CBIC said it had sought legal opinion on the applicability of the Supreme Court order dated April 27, 2021, regarding limitations of timeline under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) law. And legal opinion has made things clearer.
The CBIC letter said that tax authorities can continue to hear and dispose off proceedings where they are performing the functions as quasi-judicial authority. This may interalia include disposal of application for refund, application for revocation of cancellation of registration, adjudication proceedings of demand notices, and others.
Similarly, appeals which are filed and are pending, can continue to be heard and disposed off and the same will be governed by those extensions of time granted by the statutes or notifications.
Only in case of appeals by taxpayers/tax authorities against any quasi-judicial order:- Wherever any appeal is required to filed before Joint/ Additional Commissioner (Appeals), Commissioner (Appeals), Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling, Tribunal and various courts against any quasi-judicial order or where a proceeding for revision or rectification of any order is required to be undertaken, the timeline for the same would stand extended as per the Supreme Court's order.
"In other words, the extension of timelines granted by Hon'ble Supreme Court vide its Order dated 27.04.2021 is applicable in respect of any appeal which is required to be filed before Joint/ Additional Commissioner (Appeals), Commissioner (Appeals), Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling, Tribunal and various courts against any quasi-judicial order or where proceeding for revision or rectification of any order is required to be undertaken, and is not applicable to any other proceedings under GST Laws," CBIC said in its letter asking tax officers that suitable trade notices may be issued to publicise the contents of this Circular.
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