Service Tax/Excise Pre-deposit through Form GST DRC-03: Bombay High Court directs CBIC to issue guidelines
A Division Bench of the Bombay High Court comprising Justice K R Shriram & Justice A S Doctor directed the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) to issue guidelines regarding pre-deposit through Form Goods & Services Tax (GST) DRC-03 for Service Tax/Excise matters for the lack of provision in the law.
The non-acceptance of pre-deposit paid through Form GST DRC-03 for appeal under Service Tax law was challenged by the petitioner who requested for issuance of instructions to accept such payment as no other option was available for making the pre-deposit before the filing of appeals, after being aggrieved by four orders passed against the petitioner by the Commissioner (Appeals). All the appeals came to be dismissed by the Commissioner without going into the merits of the submissions made by the petitioner on the ground that the pre-deposit made by the petitioner while filing the appeal was improper.
On behalf of the petitioner, Sodexo India Services Pvt. Ltd., it was submitted that, even during the personal hearing, the respondent, Commissioner(Appeals) was silent and never brought to the notice of the petitioner as to how the deposit should have been made.
According to the Commissioner(Appeals), the proceedings under Central Excise Act, 1944 or Finance Act, 1994 and Central Goods & Services Tax, CGST are separate proceedings and, therefore, payment methods used under the old laws, i.e., Central Excise Act, 1944 and Finance Act, 1994 cannot be used for payment under CGST Act. Mr. Lal states that the tools available under the CGST laws may be utilized for making payments under the CGST laws.
Without going into the merits of the matter, the High Court Bench directed CBIC, to issue guidelines that resolve the issue of prepayment, and further directed the Commissioner of Appeals, to conduct a rehearing on the merits of the case, after giving due notice.