Sec 98- Procedure on receipt of application

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    (1) On receipt of an application, the Authority shall cause a copy thereof to be forwarded to the concerned officer and, if necessary, call upon him to furnish the relevant records:
    Provided that where any records have been called for by the Authority in any case, such records shall, as soon as possible, be returned to the said concerned officer.
    (2) The Authority may, after examining the application and the records called for and after hearing the applicant or his authorised representative and the concerned officer or his authorised representative, by order, either admit or reject the application:

    Provided that the Authority shall not admit the application where the question raised in the application is already pending or decided in any proceedings in the case of an applicant under any of the provisions of this Act:
    Provided further that no application shall be rejected under this sub-section unless an opportunity of hearing has been given to the applicant:
    Provided also that where the application is rejected, the reasons for such rejection shall be specified in the order.
    (3) A copy of every order made under sub-section (2) shall be sent to the applicant and to the concerned officer.
    (4) Where an application is admitted under sub-section (2), the Authority shall, after examining such further material as may be placed before it by the applicant or obtained by the Authority and after providing an opportunity of being heard to the applicant or his authorised representative as well as to the concerned officer or his authorised representative, pronounce its advance ruling on the question specified in the application.
    (5) Where the members of the Authority differ on any question on which the advance ruling is sought, they shall state the point or points on which they differ and make a reference to the Appellate Authority for hearing and decision on such question.
    (6) The Authority shall pronounce its advance ruling in writing within ninety days from the date of receipt of application.
    (7) A copy of the advance ruling pronounced by the Authority duly signed by the members and certified in such manner as may be prescribed shall be sent to the applicant, the concerned officer and the jurisdictional officer after such pronouncement.

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    98.1    Introduction
    This section sets out the procedure to be followed by the Authority for Advance Ruling (AAR) on receipt of an application for advance ruling by an applicant.
    98.2    Analysis
    Receipt of Application
    (i)    On receipt of an application in FORM GST ARA -1, the AAR shall forward a copy to the concerned officer and, if necessary, direct him to furnish the relevant records.
    (ii)    The records so called for by the AAR should be returned as soon as possible to the concerned officer.
    (iii)    The AAR, at its discretion, would examine the application and the records called for, and after hearing the applicant or his authorized representative and concerned officer or his authorised representative pass an order, either admitting or rejecting the application:
    (iv)    The AAR shall not admit the application where the question raised in the application is already pending or decided in any proceedings in the case of an applicant under any of the provisions of this Act.
    (v)    Before rejecting the application, the applicant ought to be given an opportunity of being heard.
    (vi)    Where the application is finally rejected, the reasons for such rejection shall be stated in the order.
    (vii)    A copy of every order made shall be sent to the applicant and to the concerned officer.
    Pronouncement of advance ruling
    Where the application is admitted, the AAR shall proceed as follows:
     Examine such further material as may be placed before it by the applicant or obtained by the AAR.
     Provide opportunity of being heard to the applicant or his authorized representatives and concerned officer or this authorized representative.
         Pronounce its advance ruling on the question specified in the application.
    Reference to Appellate Authority
    (i)    Where the members of the AAR differ on any question on which the advance ruling is sought, they shall state the point/s of difference and refer it to the Appellate Authority for advance ruling for final decision.
    (ii)    The AAR shall pronounce its advance ruling in writing within ninety days of the receipt of application.
    (iii)    The Appellate Authority to whom a reference is made due to difference of opinion is required to pronounce the ruling within ninety days of such reference.

    Submission of advance ruling pronounced.
    A copy of the advance ruling pronounced by the concerned AAR / Appellate Authority, duly signed by the Members and certified, shall be sent to the applicant and to the concerned officer after pronouncement.
    Comparative review
    (i)    The provision has some similarities with the Advance Rulings provision in Central Indirect Tax laws.
    (ii)    In case of difference of opinion, the matter would be directly referred to the appellate authority, which is a new development.
    98.3 Related Provisions
    Section / Rule / Form      Description     Remarks
    Section 116     Appearance by authorised representative      This section defines the meaning of authorised representative (AR), who can be appointed as an AR, disqualification of AR etc.
    For the purpose of this sub section “authorised representative” shall have the meaning assigned to it in Section 116.
    The analysis of above provision in a pictorial form is summarised as follows:
    Application for Advance ruling – Sec: 98 & 97

    * Not to admit if already before/decided by any Adjudicating or Appellate Authority.

    Procedure for Advance ruling – Sec: 101

    98.4 FAQs
    Q1.  When AAR shall not admit the application for advance ruling?
    Ans.  AAR shall not admit the application where the issue raised is already pending or decided in any proceedings in the case of an applicant under any of the provisions of this Act.
    Q2.  Can an application be rejected without providing the applicant an opportunity of being heard?
    Ans.  No. Before rejecting the application, AAR shall provide the applicant an opportunity of being heard.
    Q3.  Whether it is necessary to give reasons for rejection in the order of the AAR?
    Ans.  Yes. Where the application is rejected, reasons for such rejection shall be given in the order.
    Q4.  When should a reference be made to the appellate authority?
    Ans.  A reference shall be made to the Appellate Authority stating the point of differences, when the members of the authority differ on any question on which advance ruling is sought.
    98.5 MCQs
    Q1.  On receipt of an application for advance ruling, Authority for Advance ruling shall:
    (a)    fix a date of hearing
    (b)    forward a copy of the same to concerned officers
    (c)    None of the above
    Ans.  (b) forward a copy of the same to concerned officers.
    Q2.  AAR shall refuse to admit the application if the issue raised in the application is already pending in the applicant’s own case before:
    (a)    any First Appellate Authority
    (b)    the Appellate Tribunal
    (c)    any Court;
    (d)    All the above
    Ans.  (d) All the above
    Q3.  The AAR shall pronounce its advance ruling:
    (a)    Without examining further materials placed before it by the applicant
    (b)    After examining further materials placed before it by the applicant
    (c)    Without providing the applicant or his AR any opportunity of being heard
    (d)    After providing the applicant or his AR any opportunity of being heard
    (e)    (b) & (d) both
    Ans.  (e) (b) & (d) both
    Q4.  The AAR should pronounce the ruling within:
    (a)    30 days
    (b)    90 days
    (c)    60 days  (d) 45 days.
    Ans. (b) 90 days

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