What is the E-Personal Hearing Facility in GST?
The Directorate of Systems and Data Management have delegated the development of Dispute Settlement and Resolution (DSR), Investigation, Audit, Mobility, and E-way Bill modules to the Bangalore Zonal Unit.
Adjudication is one of the modules included in the voluminous Dispute Settlement and Resolution (DSR) module for which it was determined that personal hearings were required to comply with natural justice standards.
The functionality for personal hearing processes of the Adjudication module is currently accessible for use by departmental officers via DSR Advisory number. 04/2021 which was published on April 26, 2021, taking in mind the necessity and principles of natural equity.’
What are the current legal provisions of the E-Personal Hearing Facility in GST?
The sections that must be explained in order to understand what is written in the advisory are listed below.
- The occurrence of incorrect tax payment or incorrect Input Tax Credit may be due to an unintentional error or a case of willful attempt (fraud) to escape the tax under sections 73 and 74 of the act. The functionality for personal hearing processes of the Adjudication module is currently accessible for use by departmental officers via DSR Advisory number. 04/2021 which was published on April 26, 2021, taking in mind the necessity and principles of natural equity.
- The occurrence of incorrect tax payment or incorrect Input Tax Credit may be due to an unintentional error or a case of willful attempt (fraud) to escape the tax under sections 73 and 74 of the act.
- As a result, section 75 states that when a request is made or an adverse judgment is foreseen, the person charged with tax is entitled to a hearing.
- In this case, the proper officer must make a spoken order and give out all relevant facts and the basis for his judgment in the Order so that it can be referred to personal hearings.
The sections and rules indicated in the advisory to facilitate the proceedings of a personal hearing are listed below.
- Section 75(4) states that “an order incertitude of the direction of the Tribunal or a Court shall be issued within two years from the date of communication of the said direction and an opportunity of hearing shall be given where a request is received in writing from the person charged with tax or penalty, or where any adverse decision is scrutinized against us”
- Section 75(5), reads as follows:
- If the person charged with tax has proven adequate cause, the proper authority will provide time to the individual and adjourn the hearing for reasons to be documented in writing.
- During the proceedings, however, no such adjournment shall be given to a person more than three times.
- Rule 142(4), which reads as follows: The proper officer shall issue an order in FORM GST DRC-05 concluding the proceedings [s.73(9)], where the person makes the payment of tax, interest, and a penalty equivalent to ten percent of the tax or ten thousand rupees, whichever is higher, due from such person and determine the amount of tax, interest, and a penalty equivalent to ten percent of the tax or ten thousand rupees, whichever is higher, due from such person.
What are the different types of forms that are used?
GST DRC-01 FORM
If a person is liable for tax, interest, or penalty, the proper officer must first communicate the details of the tax, interest, and penalty in Part A of Form GST DRC-01, as determined by him.
Previously, the proper officer was required to offer a summary when issuing a notice or statement under the Rules. However, now that this new sub-rule has been included, the amount of tax, interest, and penalty due must be notified to the taxpayer before the notice or statement is issued. As a result, rather than a show-cause notice, it is an intimation.
GST DRC-02 FORM
If the proper officer wants to disclose details of tax unpaid or short paid for the same reason but for a different period after issuing the show cause notice under FORM GST DRC-01, he can issue a statement abiding by the corresponding provisions.
GST DRC-06 FORM
- This is a response to the show-cause notice (form DRC-01) stated above. Tax is paid on a self-assessment basis under the GST regime. The Department has the authority to issue a Notice if the self-assessment is erroneous. A Notice can be given for underpayment/nonpayment of taxes, claiming an incorrect refund, wrongly claiming an ITC, and so on, and if the person wishes to respond, they must do so using this FORM GST DRC-06.
- In the list, there are alternatives such as ‘View Reply’ and ‘Fix PH,’ which the Adjudicating Authority can apply based on the circumstances.
- The FORM GST DRC-06 and its contents are displayed when you click ‘View Reply.’
- ‘Fix PH’ leads to ‘Personal Hearing Management,’ where the officer can construct a platform for the first ‘Personal Hearing,’ set a date and time, and send a personal hearing notice to the taxpayer through the use of the GSTN portal.
- If a personal hearing is scheduled when completing FORM GST DRC-01, the system will show that the hearing has been scheduled, and the Adjudicating Authority will be able to proceed.
What happens after the initial personal hearing?
Any of the following scenarios could occur:
- ‘Adjourn PH’: The current personal hearing is postponed, and the next personal hearing is scheduled. The officer must choose a date and time for the hearing and send out a personal hearing notice. Such adjournments are limited to a maximum of three times.
- ‘Record PH’ entails: This converts the status of a personal hearing that has already been set to a record hearing, allowing the officer to enter representative information and record the personal hearing.
- ‘Fast PH’: This option ends the hearing and changes the status to complete.
- ‘Issue OIO’ entails: This leads to the following step, which is ‘order-in-original preparation and issue.’ This option is essential in order to proceed to the next level of adjudication; otherwise, the adjudication process would end at this stage.
The taxpayer, on the other hand, must make an offline request for an adjournment or cancellation of a personal hearing. The adjudicating authority can document this by adjourning or canceling the ‘Remarks’ text box and simultaneously uploading the offline document/record in the tabs provided.
It should also be highlighted that the advisory involves ensuring that notices or other legal papers are signed offline by the appropriate authorities, as the facility for digital signature is now unavailable.
The taxpayer, on the other hand, must make an offline request for an adjournment or cancellation of a personal hearing.
This can be reported by the adjudicating authority in the ‘Remarks’ text box while adjourning or canceling, and the offline document/record can be submitted in the tabs given at the same time.
- The system allows users to upload and download documents, as well as view and download the papers that have been generated.
- It should be noted that, because digital signatures are not now accessible, it is advisable to ensure that notices or other legal documents are signed by the appropriate authorities and issued in conjunction to the online issuance of the same. In May 2021, the “Preparation and Issue of Order-in-Original” feature will be available in production.
- A user manual has been produced and is supplied herewith for a full knowledge of the process.
Personal Hearing in Virtual Mode: CBIC Guidelines
In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs has decided to hold personal hearings through video conference in all cases involving the Customs Act of 1962. The board has set detailed criteria for conducting such virtual personal hearings in an instruction dated April 27, 2020, which is explained in this article.
CBIC Guidelines- Personal Hearing Procedures in a Virtual Environment
Personal Hearing Consent
o The assessee (who can be either the appellant or the respondent) must first consent to the use of video conferencing to conduct a personal hearing.
o The assessee can give such consent at the time of filing an appeal. If the lawsuit is already in progress, the consent might be given after April 27, 2020. ( i.e., after the issuance of the instruction ).
Video Conferencing Link
The date, time, and link for a personal hearing via video conferencing shall be provided with: 1. the assessee or their consultant; and 2. the revenue (departmental) representative after the consent has been received.
The Authorization Letter must be submitted.
Vakalatnama of the authorization letter with the adjudicating or appellate body in such circumstances. The following scan copies of the papers should be emailed to the relevant authority at the following address
- The Vakalatnama (authorization letter).
- The advocate, consultant, or authorized representative’s photo ID card.
- Information on how to contact you.
Virtual Hearings are held.
- The virtual personal hearing will be held using software such as VIDYO or another secure computer network.
- The assessee should install the application on their computer, laptop, or mobile device and participate in the video conference on the scheduled date and time.
- It should be noted that if the assessee or his representative (together with his advocate) desires to join in the virtual hearing, pre-intimation is essential.
Virtual Hearing is being recorded.
- During the virtual hearing, any submission made by the assessee or his authorized representative shall be referred to as a “record of personal hearing.”
- Within one day of the virtual hearing, the ‘record of personal hearing’ would be supplied to the assessee via the e-mail address provided by the counselor assessee.
If the assessee is compelled to make any changes to the ‘record of personal hearing,’ then:
- First, the assessee should print the “record of personal hearing” that was mailed to him or her by the relevant authorities.
- Make changes to the material before signing it.
- Scan the corrected copy and send it to the appropriate authority via email.
If the assessee or his authorized representative does not take action after three days of receiving the e-mail with the “record of personal hearing,” The assessee will be assumed to have agreed to the “record or personal hearing,” and the case will be decided by the appropriate authority.
During the Virtual Hearing, another submission is to be made.
If the assessee or his authorized agent desires to provide any document or supplementary submission during the virtual hearing,
- Self-attested documents or extra submissions should be scanned and emailed to the appropriate authority.
- Within three days following the virtual hearing, the documents must be submitted.