The Finance Ministry has come out with a detailed procedure for filing an appeal under the amnesty scheme for GST assesses. Officials expect that this scheme will facilitate a large number of taxpayers who could not file appeals in the past within the specified time period.

Based on the recommendation, a notification was issued on November 2. Now, the GST Network has provided the mechanism to implement amnesty for taxpayers who could not file an appeal under section 107 of the CGST (Central Goods and Services Tax) Act, 2017, against the demand order under section 73 or 74 of the CGST Act, 2017, passed on or before March 31, 2023, or whose appeal against the said order was rejected due to not being filed within the specified time frame.

Taxpayers can now file an appeal in FORM GST APL-01 on the GST portal on or before January 31, 2024, for the order passed on or before March 31, 2023. Furthermore, the taxpayers have been advised to make payments to entertain the appeal by the Appellate officer.

The GST Portal allows taxpayers to choose the mode of payment (electronic credit/cash ledger). Under this mechanism, payment of of pre-deposit amount of 12.5 per cent of the tax under dispute needs to be made, of which at least 20 per cent (i.e., 2.5 per cent of the tax under dispute) should be debited from the electronic cash ledger. 

Furthermore, the office of the Appellate Authority will check the correctness of the payment before entertaining the appeal, and any appeal filed without proper payment may be dealt with as per the legal provisions.

If a taxpayer has already filed an appeal and wants it to be covered by the benefit of the amnesty scheme, they would need to make differential payments. The payment should be made against the demand order using the “payment towards demand” facility available on the GST portal.

Taxpayers who have previously filed an appeal, but it was rejected as time-barred in APL-02 by the Appellate authority, would be able to refile the appeal. However, if the taxpayers face any issue while re-filing APL-01, a ticket shall be raised on the Grievance Redressal Portal.

If the Appellate authority has issued a rejection order due to the appeal application being time-barred, the taxpayer has to approach the respective Appellate authority office well in advance to comply with the dates in the said notification. The Appellate Authority, after checking the eligibility of the taxpayer for the amnesty scheme, will forward the case to GSTN through the State Nodal Officer.

Also, it is important to note that for APL-04 issued cases, no direct representations will be entertained by GSTN or through the Grievance Redressal Portal. APL-04 issued cases must be compulsorily forwarded through the State Nodal Officer. After receiving the case from the State Nodal Officer, GSTN will enable the taxpayer to file an appeal against the concerned order.