Income Tax Return Appeals II: Commissioner of Appeals

Income Tax Return Appeals II

If you have reason to be dissatisfied by any order or decision that your Income Tax Assessing Officer has passed against you then there is a standard process of appeal before the Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals). In legal lexicon, she is the first appellate authority, i.e., the first authority to which you can complain.

Income Tax Return Appeals II: Commissioner of Appeals

Thus, you may challenge, income tax sources claimed by the AO, income tax deductions that were not allowed, assessments, reassessments, re computation notices, penalties, levies and so as detailed in Section 246 of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

Common Types of Orders Which May Be Appealed:

  • Income Tax notices disputing a claim not to be taxed under the Income Tax act.
  • Adjustments made by the AO in income to be taxed or other declared statement in your income tax return file.
  • Orders passed under Section 143(3) where documents, accounts have been called or fee imposed except where directed by a judicial or quasi-judicial body.
  • Orders for assessment, reassessment or re-computation under Section 92CD(3), 147, 153A or 153BC when a search or seizure has been made.
  • Order of assessment under Section 144 where the AO has applied her judgement and you disagree.
  • Orders calling for rectification under Sections 154 or 155.
  • An order that classifies and assesses your income as an agent of a non-resident.
  • An order that classifies and assesses your income as a successor of the income of the predecessor. This may also occur when a Hindu Undivided Family is partitioned.
  • Orders passed by a Joint Commissioner under Section 115VP(3) denying eligibility for tonnage-tax scheme to a shipping company.
  • Order that deems a person responsible for paying TDS under Section 201(1) or 206C(6A) and his failure in furnishing that tax.
  • Orders on disputed refund calculations or those imposing a penalty under Chapter XXI of the I-T Act.

What is the Time Period within which I can present an Appeal?

The common time limit for presenting appeals to the Commissioner Appeals is 30 days from

  1. The date of service of income tax return notice asking for deposit of levy not paid or penalty demanded.
  2. The date of payment of tax when being proceeded against under an order where you dispute the scope of being taxed under the Indian Income Tax Act.
  3. An date of intimation or notice being served for cases only of rectification, reassessment, re-computation etc.

Mode of Appeal

All assessees who qualify to be subject to the Indian Income Tax Act may appeal an AO’s order by filling and submitting Form 35. This must be done online.

In case of organizations, the Managing Director/Partner/Principal Officer of the organization or any other equivalent representative in the absence of the former may put her signature and the organization’s seal on the requisite form.

Other Documents to be submitted for Appeal

  1. One copy of the original order, duly certified.
  2. The original demand letter of tax in arrears or penalty imposed or fee claimed.
  3. Copy of challans. When efiling the form for appeal, the BSR code, date of payment of fee, serial number and amount paid must be stated in the online form.

Considerations on the Procedure of Appeal

  • Once the Commissioner Appeal’s office has received your application you will be intimated of the time and place where you must make an appearance.
  • You may appoint a representative to appear on your behalf during proceedings.
  • You should be prepared to attend or delegate attendance for multiple hearings and adjournments and directions for inquiries to your AO for determining a question of fact.
  • You are allowed to introduce additional grounds for appeal during proceedings but you must convince the Commissioner that those additional grounds were not omitted deliberately or without   good reason.
  • THe are not normally allowed to bring any new document as evidence to support a claim other than those you submitted to the AO. However, if you show sufficient reasons for delay in procuring that evidence then it may be admitted.

Duration of Proceedings

The Income Tax Commissioner is expected to dispose of the case within one year after the last day of the assessment period in which appeal is filed. Other orders must be passed within 15 days from the date of the last hearing.

The Commissioner may decide on matters beyond the original dispute depending on what transpires or liabilities arise during examination of evidence and argument. In such times you should best protect your interests by having complex income tax returns handled by tax professionals.

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