In an attempt to minimise the harassment faced by taxpayers because of high-pitched or unreasonable assessments made by indirect tax officials, Andhra Pradesh has formed four nodal committees that will examine such grievances and upload reports online within 60 days from receipt of a petition.
The circular issued by the state government last month also provides for disciplinary action against erring assessing officers. Besides, cases which are considered high-pitched would get priority for disposal at the appellate authority, the circular said. The committees will examine an assessment order on various parameters including adherence to established facts, due diligence, assessing officer’s knowledge of various judgments and interpretation of provisions of law.
The mechanism will be applicable for cases pertaining to the GST, state VAT and CST cases. Exorbitant tax demand has often been cited by businesses and tax practitioners as one of the main problems in the tax administration, which has also been held responsible for lower ease of doing business.
“This kind of inclusive growth trajectory is the first-of-its-kind move by any state government under the regime of the GST. The entire process of marking cases, investigation and preference in appeal is a welcome concept, and it would go a long way in promoting the trust of taxpayers in the system. One hopes that similar initiative is taken up suo-motu by other state governments also,” Rajat Mohan, partner at AMRG & Associates, said.
As per the mechanism, a taxpayer can submit grievances online within 15 days from the date of receipt of an assessment order. The acknowledgment for the same would be generated online. A nodal committee will then examine the petition and ascertain if there is any case of unreasonable assessment order passed by the assessing officer. The committee’s report will then be uploaded online.