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We are witnessing a historic change, and when history writes itself I remember a quote from Charles Darwin that deem fit on this particular occasion; "it is not the strongest of the spices that survive, nor the most intelligent one, but the most responsive to change."

As said, GST is not only a tax reform; it is a complete transformation of the existing system. We can see people all over the communities are discussing about the GST and making headlines every day discussing the impact and repercussions of the GST law. I do appreciate this act of our community that people are becoming aware of this reform before it hits them.

Based upon the queries, I have tried to compile some important practical issues to help out how to deal with notices from GST Department.

How to Deal with GST Notices

Let us proceed to discuss the same

1. The first thing you should check is whether the Notice is from the State Department or the Central Department. The Notice must carry the DIN if CGST has sent it; the Notice is invalid if it does not contain the DIN.

2. Check if the Notice has been issued online or offline. You can confirm if it has been sent online by checking the online number mentioned on the top left side of the Notice. If it has been issued online, you should reply to it in the online mode only.

3. Make sure to check the deadlines specified on the Notice. You should be able to reply to the Notice within the given deadlines, and if you are not able to do so, make sure to get an extension in writing from the Officer. The reason for the extension should be relevant and not generic. Examples of generic reasons are "not able to arrange the documents in time" or the unavailability of the accountant.

4. If you are submitting the reply at the Office of the Officer, make sure to get the acknowledgment of the reply from him/her.

5. It is very important to give a reply to the exact questions asked in the Notice. It is pretty common for businesses to answer something else, whereas the Notice asks for something completely different.

For example, one business was asked to answer the discrepancy between ITC availed in GSTR 3B and E Way Bill data.

The business replied by stating that the Eway Bill was not required as the bill value was less than the threshold amount, and the Eway Bill was also generated in case of delivery challan, instead of giving proper reasoning for the discrepancy amount.


6. Always make sure to appear on the day of the personal hearing. If an AR will appear on your behalf, ensure that his/her name is updated on the GST Portal.

He/She should also carry authorization from you along with his/her ID proof. You should also instruct the AR to give statements only when it is extremely necessary and to reply to questions only when he/she is completely sure about the answers.

7. If possible, always remain in touch with the GST Department. Talk to the Officer politely and humbly while placing your arguments. Your arguments and statements should be supported with corroborative evidence linked to the case. Don't get irritated even when you know that you are correct and the Officer is confusing some of the facts. Ask him/her to note down your arguments in the note sheet.

8. Always sign the note sheet whenever you appear in person or are being instructed to appear.

9. Never hesitate in asking the Officer to give Relied Upon Document (RUD), calculation sheet and information of the allegation made in the Notice.

10. If you believe that you are not competent enough to handle the Notice independently, take assistance and guidance from a competent GST Practitioner/CA/CS/CMA/Advocate.


Author's View

The number of Notices issued in recent days are too much and it is a clear indication that taxpayers are not very comfortable with the GST procedures hence technical mistakes are too much. More Notices mean more paperwork and more appeals and litigation but these were not the exact objectives of GST. So something is really wrong with GST and it is a humble request and suggestion to GST Department to please instruct your dedicated GST team to consult some real GST experts who are working on Ground level and facing the real problems. They are facing real problems hence it is better to consult these experts for practical solutions of GST Problems.

Every effort has been taken to provide an insight about this topic and to cover all important areas of it, any suggestions and improvements will be welcomed and highly appreciated.

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Vaibhav Singh
Category GST   Report

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