The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved setting up of the national bench of the Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal which will act as the forum for second appeal in GST-related litigation and the common forum for dispute resolution between states and Centre.
The national bench of the GST Appellate Tribunal, which will be located in Delhi, will have one technical member each from Centre and states and a President.
The creation of the national Bench would amount to one time expenditure of Rs.92.5 lakh while the recurring expenditure would be Rs 6.86 crore per annum, a government statement said. “The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the creation of National Bench of the Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal (GSTAT),” the statement said.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the national bench of the GST Appellate Tribunal will expedite resolution of disputes under GST laws.
The GST Council, headed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, and comprising state counterparts, had in December decided to establish the centralised appellate authority.
The national bench of the GSTAT is the forum of second appeal in GST laws and the first common forum of dispute resolution between Centre and states, the statement said. The first appeal against the orders of adjudicating authority shall lie before the appellate authority of the states.
“Being a common forum, GST Appellate Tribunal (national bench) will ensure that there is uniformity in redressal of disputes arising under GST, and therefore, in implementation of GST across the country,” the statement said.
The formation of an appellate authority has come eighteen months after the rollout of the GST regime. The appellate authority is being seen crucial for being a forum for higher appeal for disputes under the indirect tax regime and will also help in resolving the confusion created by contradictory rulings given by Appellate Authority for Advance Rulings (AAAR) on the same or similar issues in different states. The industry has been demanding a centralised appellate authority that could reconcile the contradictory verdicts of different AAARs.
The Central GST Act provides for the formation of the AAAR. As per the Act, appeal to the AAAR shall be filed within a period of 30 days from the date on which the ruling sought to be appealed against is communicated to the concerned officer, the jurisdictional officer and the applicant.
Tax experts said the formation will help prevent any unwarranted delays in the future.
“This would be the forum of second appeal in the GST regime. While typically not many litigations should have been adjudicated still, early formation of this appellate authority would help prevent any unwarranted delays in adjudication of appeals to be filed in the future,” Abhishek Jain, tax partner, EY India, said.