CBIC Clarifies on Cross Empowerment of CGST and SGST Officers

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has issued a clarification dated 22 June 2020 on cross empowerment of Central officers and State officers under Goods and Service Tax (GST) regime. The letter was addressed to the Principal Director General in the office of Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI).

The issues raised that whether the intelligence-based enforcement actions initiated by the Central GST officers against those taxpayers who are assigned to the State GST administration gets covered under section 6(1) of the CGST Act or not. Also, whether the corresponding provisions of the SGST/UTGST Acts are applicable or a separate notification is required to be issued for cross empowerment.

The point of specific notification came into the picture as they issued a notification authorising the State GST Officers for processing refunds under section 54 and 55 of the CGST Act (Notification No. 39/2017-CT dated 13 October 2017).

The relevant provisions of the CGST Act 2017 the issue was examined, and it was noted that Section 6 of the CGST Act provides the power of cross empowerment of State GST officers and Central GST officers.

Also Read: CBIC has notified an extension of two months to various GST compliance

Thus, in terms of section 6 of both CGST Act and State GST Acts, respective State GST officer and the Central GST officers are authorised to be the proper officers under respective Acts. There is no separate notification required for exercising the powers by the Central Tax Officers under the provisions of the State GST Act. It is to be noted that the registered persons in GST are registered under the CGST Act along with the respective SGST/UTGST Act.

The letter to DGGI further clarified that a notification under section 6 of the CGST Act would be part of subordinate legislation can only be used to impose conditions on the powers given to the officers by the section but not for empowering the officer under the Act. In the absence of any specific requirements, the power of cross empowerment under section 6 of the CGST Act is absolute and not conditional.

For any clarifications/feedback on the topic, please contact the writer at dvsr.anjaneyulu@cleartax.in

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