Section 160 of GST – Assessment proceedings, etc., not to be invalid on certain grounds

Section 160 of GST – Assessment proceedings, etc., not to be invalid on certain grounds. Complete Details for GST Section 160 as per GST Act 2017. In this GST Section you may find all details for Assessment proceedings, etc., not to be invalid on certain grounds GST Act 2017Detailed Analysis of GST Section 160 of GST Act 2017. 

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Section 160 of GST

Statutory provision

(1) No assessment, re-assessment, adjudication, review, revision, appeal, rectification, notice, summons or other proceedings done, accepted, made, issued, initiated, or purported to have been done, accepted, made, issued, initiated in pursuance of any of the provisions of this Act shall be invalid or deemed to be invalid merely by reason of any mistake, defect or omission therein, if such assessment, re-assessment, adjudication, review, revision, appeal, rectification, notice, summons or other proceedings are in substance and effect in conformity with or according to the intents, purposes and requirements of this Act or any erstwhile law.

(2) The service of any notice, order or communication shall not be called in question, if the notice, order or communication, as the case may be, has already been acted upon by the person to whom it is issued or where such service has not been called in question at or in the earlier proceedings commenced, continued or finalised pursuant to such notice, order or communication.

Analysis and Updates

Introduction

Very often proceedings under the Act are questioned for their validity even when there are inadvertent errors. This Section saves the proceedings from such challenge when substantive conformity is found but for these errors.

Analysis

Assessment, re-assessment and other proceedings that are listed in this Section will be valid even though there may be:

  • Mistake
  • Defect or
  • Omission

Provided they are in ‘substance’ and ‘effect’ in conformity with the intents, purposes and requirements of the Act.

Proceedings listed in this Section are:

  • Assessment
  • Re-assessment
  • Adjudication
  • Review
  • Revision
  • Appeal
  • Rectification
  • Notice
  • Summons
  • Other proceedings

Considering the purpose of this Section, no proceedings under the Act are excluded from the operation of this Section. It is interesting to see how such a determination will be made – whether deficiency in the proceedings was a mistake, defect or omission and that it is in substance and effect in conformity with the Act.

Further, where a notice, order or communication has been:

  • acted upon or
  • Not called into question at the earliest opportunity available,

then the opportunity to call such notice, order or communication into question will not be available in the course of subsequent proceedings. Please note that the deficiency that can be so called into question is limited to – notice, order or communication – and not the documents forming part of the other proceedings listed in sub-section (1). Hence, it is important to note that care needs to be taken while making preliminary objections on jurisdiction and validity of communication.

It is very important NOT to ignore notices, communication and advisory(ies) from the tax department. For the reason that section 160(2) places an embargo from raising objections if either those objections (as to the validity of service of notice) were taken up belatedly or replies were filed on merits leaving objections (as to the validity of service of notice) unattended.

‘Service of notice’ is not limited to:

Service of notice

Service of VALID notice

Service of valid notice under VALID Section

Service of valid notice under valid section by VALID Proper Officer

Keeping mind that section 169 provides different methods of ‘service’, it is important NOT to ignore notices, communication and advisory(ies) from the tax department.

Reference may be had to discussion under section 60 to 64 to understand the ‘ingredients’ for action under the GST law. Further, reference may also be had to notifications issued under section 3 to 6 of the CSGT Act which lays down the authority vested and delegated to each Proper Officer Also, note that in terms of section 75(11), which provides that ‘undisputed arrears’ do not require any further intimation in order to take recovery action under section 79 by issuing garnishee orders in Form DRC13 to banker or customer or other person who holds monies belonging to taxpayer with undisputed arrears. Making a statement that arrears notified vide notice, communication or advisory are ‘disputed’ renders such arrears to be ‘undisputed’ and as to the merits of the dispute will now be subject to the process under respective provisions of CGST Act that will now need to be taken up.

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