Monetary Limits Hiked for Adjudication

It seems that before the GST comes into force, the Government wants to dispose pending cases as quickly as possible. It may be an endeavour to start with the clean state. Adjudication powers exist in Service Tax under Section 73 and Section 83A of the Finance Act, 1994. The said powers were enhanced by Notification No. 44/2016-ST dated 28.09.2016.

Henceforth, powers of adjudication in Service Tax shall be exercised, based on the monetary limit of the duty/ tax/ credit involved in a case, are as under. Superintendents can adjudicate up to Rs.10 Lakhs, Assistant / Deputy Commissioner can adjudicate upto Rs.50 lakhs, Joint Commissioner/Additional Commissioner can adjudicate the notices upto Rs.2 crore and Commissioner has unlimited powers.

However, these limits are coming with various riders. The Cases involving taxability, classification, valuation and extended period of limitation is kept out of the purview of adjudication by Superintendents. Such cases, upto rupees 10 lakhs, shall also be adjudicated by the Deputy / Assistant Commissioner.

Further, the above monetary limits are not applicable when there is case of refund (including rebate), shall be adjudicated by the Deputy Commissioner/ Assistant Commissioner without any monetary limit. In case where different show cause notices have been issued on the same issue answerable to different adjudicating authorities, Show Cause Notices involving the same issue shall be adjudicated by the adjudicating authority competent to decide the case involving the highest amount of duty. The Board has also circulated that every adjudicating authority of Central Excise and Service Tax in the field shall endeavour to adjudicate 100 cases in a year.

The new monetary limits are applicable only to adjudication of cases where the personal hearing is yet to be commenced. In all cases where the personal hearing has been completed, orders will be passed by the adjudicating authority before which the hearing has been held. Also the cases which have been remanded back for de novo adjudication shall be decided by an authority of the rank which passed the said remanded order.

This enhanced limit will help in reducing the burden of the Commissioner and reduce the litigation pending at the adjudication levels. However the actual pendency will reduce only if the Department officers pass judicious orders. Otherwise the trade will invariably be forced to go in appeal against the adjudication and the office of the Commissioner (Appeals) will be new bottleneck.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.