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GST Council To Look At Option Of Centralised Appellate Authority

The revenue department is considering setting up of a centralised appellate authority to deal with the problem created by contradictory verdicts passed by the Authority of Advance Rulings in different states, a top official said today.

Under the Goods and Services Tax law, each state is required to set up an Authority for Advance Rulings comprising one member from the central tax department, and the other from the respective state.

In view of the confusion being created by contradictory rulings given by different authorities on the same or similar issues, the finance ministry is planning to set up a centralised appellate authority which could reconcile the contradictory verdicts of different AARs.

A decision in this regard is likely to be taken by the GST Council in its 28th meeting on July 21. If approved, the government would have to amend the GST law to create a centralised appellate authority.

In an interview to PTI, Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said the proposal of setting up of a centralised AAR is under discussion of various committees of officers.

He said it may so happen that one party itself having multiple state operations can go to different states and get different AAR verdicts.

So for that one way out could be to have a Centralised Appellate Authority rather than a centralised advance ruling authority. There can be an appellate authority on top of advance (ruling) authority. It can then uniformise it.
Hasmukh Adhia, Finance Secretary

He further said if there are two differing viewpoints given by two different AARs in two different states in respect of same circumstances, then it can come to the appellate authority.

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“This is under discussion. We will see, if it is to be done, it has to come as legislative changes. Once GST Council decides, we will make it part of legislative amendments,” Adhia said.

Under the GST law, an aggrieved party can file an appeal against the order of the AAR within a period of 30 days, which may be further extended by a month.

As per the law, all states are required to set up at least one AAR for seeking advance ruling over GST levy and one appellate authority to hear appeals against the AAR order.

Recently, the New Delhi bench of the AAR had held that duty-free shops at airports are liable to deduct GST from passengers. However, these shops were exempt from service tax, and central sales tax in the earlier regime.

Further, the solar industry too was left in a vexed situation when the Maharashtra AAR said that 18 percent GST rate would be levied for installation works, but the Karnataka-bench of AAR passed an order levying 5 percent GST on the same.

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