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22 July 2021

Manually filed appeal accepted against assessment order not uploaded on GST Portal: High Court of Andhra Pradesh.

In the case of Sri Lakshmi Venkateshwara vs. State of Andhra Pradesh (Writ Petition No. 24150 of 2020 dated March 15 2021), the competent authority passed an assessment order on the assessee stating, since the appeal was filed manually in front of the Appellate Authority, the same was rejected on the sole ground that the appeal was not filed electronically.

It was held that where the order was not uploaded on the GST portal and was provided to the assessee manually, an appeal with respect to the same cannot be rejected on the ground that it was not filed electronically.

Facts:

The assessee deals in edible and non-edible oils and it is a registered dealer under the APGST Act, 2017.

The department conducted an inspection and issued a show cause notice in Form GST DRC-02 (APGST) on 22-3-2018 in respect of a differential turnover involving a tax liability of Rs. 1,72,920/-.

An explanation was submitted by the assessee consequent to the Show cause notice. However, the department passed assessment order dated 30-5-2018 fixing tax liability of Rs. 1,72,920/-on the differential turnover of Rs. 69,16,797/- for the tax period July 2017 to February 2018 along with a separate assessment order for equal sum of tax under the provisions of the CGST Act, 2017.

Aggrieved by the two assessment orders under CGST Act, 2017 and APGST Act, 2017, the assessee filed appeals in the department on 28-6-2018 along with proof of payment of pre-deposit @ 10% of the disputed tax which was received by the proper officer on 28-6-2018.

As per Section 107 of the CGST Act, an appeal has to be filed within three months from the date on which the assessment order is communicated. In the instant case, the assessment order was passed by the department on 30-5-2018 which was received by the assessee on 5-6-2018 and the appeals were filed on 28-6-2018 within time.

The order dated 30-05-2018 was not uploaded on the GST portal, therefore the assessee also filed appeal papers in the department in person and obtained acknowledgment from the office.

Later, a check memo was issued by the department on 4-09-2019 stating that the appeal will be rejected as the same was not filed electronically.

To this, a response was filed on 17-09-2019 by the assessee stating that the proceedings of assessment under both the Acts were served on him manually on 5-6-2018 and not by uploading on the GST portal. Also, efforts were made by him to file appeal before the appellate Authority electronically but as the same could not be filed on the GST common portal, the same was filed manually.

However, the appeal was rejected on the sole ground that the same was not filed electronically vide impugned order dated 11-12-2019.

Held:

The department has no authority to reject the appeal. The assessee complied with the statutory condition of pre-deposit @ 10% of the disputed tax.

The Department was further asked to admit the appeal and process the same and in case of any defects, suitable check memos were asked to be issued wherein the assessee shall comply the same within the time prescribed and resubmit the appeal either electronically or manually whereupon the department shall consider the appeal and pass an order in accordance with the governing law and rules.