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The appeal procedure under Income Tax Act

In general parlance, ‘appeal’ means ‘making a request’ and in legal parlance, it means ‘apply to a higher court for a reversal of the decision of a lower court’. In this article I have covered the levels of appeal under Income Tax Act. Hope this helps.


In India, the taxpayer computes the tax payable on his total income and pays to the government. If the Income Tax department (the government) disagrees with the tax computed by the taxpayer, they can levy an additional tax. Under Income Tax Act, the liability is determined at the level of Assessing Officer (it can be Income Tax Officer (ITO) or Assistant/Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax)


A tax payer aggrieved by various actions of Assessing Officer (say higher tax demand) can appeal before Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals). Further appeal can be preferred before the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal. On substantial question of law, further appeal can be filed before the High Court and even to the Supreme Court.


Appeal before Commissioner (Appeals)


Aggrieved tax payer can file appeal before the Commissioner (Appeals) having, jurisdiction over the tax payer. Appeal can be filed when a taxpayer is adversely affected by the Orders passed by Tax authorities. Every appeal to the Commissioner (Appeals) is to be filed in Form No. 35, signed by the taxpayer/director or his authorized representative. Appeal Fees to be paid depending upon total income determined by the Assessing Officer, subject to a maximum of Rs.1000.


Appeal is to be filed within 30 days of the date of service of notice of demand relating to assessment or penalty order or the date of service of order sought to be appealed against, as the case may be. The commissioner may admit an appeal after the expiry of 30 days, if he is satisfied that there was sufficient cause of not presenting the appeal within the period of 30 days.


On receipt of Form no. 35, Commissioner of Income-tax (Appeals) fixes date and place for hearing the appeal by issuing notice to the tax payer and the Assessing Officer, against whose order appeal is preferred. After the hearing is concluded, Commissioner (Appeals) passes order in writing, disposing of the appeal and stating the decision on each ground of appeal with reasons.


Appeal before Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT)


Appeal against an order of Commissioner (Appeals) lies with the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT). Both tax payer and the Assessing Officer can file appeal before ITAT.


Appeal is to be filed (in Form 36) before the Appellate Tribunal within 60 days of the date on which order appealed against is communicated to the taxpayer or the Commissioner, as the case may be. Appeal fee to be paid based on the taxable income subject to a maximum of Rs.10000. The Appellate Tribunal may admit an appeal after the period of 60 days if it is satisfied that there was sufficient cause for not presenting it within the prescribed time.


Normally appeals are heard by a Bench comprising of one judicial member and one accountant member.


Appeal before High Court

Appeal against Appellate Tribunal’s order lies with the High Court, where the High Court is satisfied that the case involves a substantial question of law. Appeal to the High Court against Appellate Tribunal’s order can be filed by the tax payer or the Chief Commissioner/Commissioner within 120 days of receipt of the order and in the form of memorandum of appeal, precisely stating the substantial question of law involved.


Appeal filed before High Court is heard by bench of not less than two Judges and decision is by majority


Appeal before Supreme Court

Appeal against High Court’s order in respect of Appellate Tribunal’s order lies with the Supreme Court in those cases, which are certified to be fit for appeal to the Supreme Court.


Special leave can also be granted by the Supreme Court under Art. 136 of the constitution of India against the order of the High Court


Thought for the day

Words don’t have the power to hurt you, unless the person who said them means a lot to you.



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About CA Prasad Chartered Accountant

CA Prasad Chartered Accountant
CA Prasad is a practicing Chartered Accountant and partner in Bangalore -based CA Firm. For further information or query, please email it to [email protected]