Mandatory video conferencing for GST appeal hearings says CBIC
- | Divita S Gupta
When the Centre implemented a nationwide lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) issued guidelines for conducting personal hearings in virtual mode for appeals under Customs Act, and erstwhile excise and service tax related disputes in the month of April. Initial feedback on this move was very positive and the CBIC witnessed faster passing of adjudication and appellate proceedings while saving on costs of travel and time, and most importantly, maintaining social distancing.
In a bid to maintain the same speed experienced during the lockdown, the CBIC has issued another circular making video conferencing mandatory for various tax authorities including the Commissioner (Appeals), original adjudicating authorities and Compounding authorities in cases relating to Central GST (CGST) and Integrated GST (IGST). The CBIC also issued guidelines for conducting these virtual hearings for GST appeals and has stated that any proceedings before appellate or adjudicating authority shall mandatorily take place through video conferencing.