GST Liability confirmed on Failure to Reply to SCN with Relevant Documents: Madras HC Remands Matter on 10% Pre-deposit Condition [Read Order]

The Madras High Court, while remanding the matter for reconsideration on 10% Pre-deposit condition, observed that the Goods and Services Tax ( GST ) liability was confirmed as the assessee/petitioner failed to reply to the Show Cause Notice ( SCN ) with relevant documents. The petitioner, involved in bullion and jewellery trading, claimed ignorance of proceedings leading to the impugned order because the intimation and Show cause notice were uploaded on the “View Additional Notices and Orders” tab on the GST portal and not communicated to the petitioner through any other mode.

The petitioner’s counsel argued for a fair opportunity to contest the tax demand, asserting excess tax payment and readiness to clarify discrepancies. He further submitted that the petitioner paid taxes not only on the advance but also thereafter on the invoices. As a result, he submits that excess tax was paid. If provided an opportunity, he affirmed that the petitioner would be in a position to explain the mismatch which forms the basis of the confirmed tax demand. Mr. V.Prashanth Kiran, Government Advocate, pointed out that the show cause notice and impugned order were communicated to the petitioner not only by uploading the same on the GST portal but also through email. Therefore, he contended that no case is made out for interference with the impugned order. Upon review, a bench of Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy observed that the tax proposal was confirmed due to the petitioner’s failure to respond with relevant documents.

Thus, the court deemed it fair to allow contestation, with the petitioner offering to remit 10% of the disputed tax demand for reconsideration. Consequently, the impugned order of December 23, 2023, is set aside, and the matter remanded under the condition of the petitioner’s 10% remittance within three weeks. The petitioner was permitted to submit a reply to the show cause notice within this period. Upon receipt and verification of the remittance, the respondent is directed to provide a reasonable opportunity for a fresh order within two months. Consequently, the writ petition was disposed of without costs, with connected petitions closed accordingly.

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