Cant start tax recovery right after tribunal order: CBEC
July, 06th 2016
Taxpayers caught up in excise or service tax litigation can breathe more easily, as the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has now provided for a period of sixty days for recovery of an indirect tax demand that has been 'confirmed' by either the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunals (CESTAT) or high courts.
'Confirmed' demand of tax arises when, after examining the submissions of a taxpayer, an order is issued upholding the tax demand, explains an official release. The period of sixty days granted for recovery of the indirect tax demand will give enough time to the taxpayer to file an appeal (either before the high court or Supreme Court) before recovery proceedings are initiated, the release adds.
After filing an appeal, the tax payer has to deposit only 7.5-10% of the indirect tax demand — recovery of further demand is stayed till the matter is disposed. The final payment or refund of the deposit amount depends on the outcome of the appeal.
An earlier circular dated January 1, 2013 provided that, when a demand is confirmed by the CESTAT or high courts, recovery of the indirect tax demand can be initiated immediately on issue of these orders. The Gujarat high court had upheld this circular. These instructions have now been quashed by the CBEC in its newly issued circular dated July 4.
According to a 2016 report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), at higher appellate forums (tribunal and courts), appeals filed by taxpayers have a better success rate. The indirect tax authorities win only 13-21% of such appeals (as per statistics for FY2014-15). Thus, the newly issued circular will give time to taxpayers to appeal before higher appellate levels by merely paying a small percentage of the total tax demand.