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The best judgment assessment can be done immediately after detection of the failure to file the returns despite service of notice

Section 62 of the CGST Act — Assessment Orders – The Petitioner challenged the assessment orders passed under Section 62 of the Act. The petitioner after receipt of the said assessment order submitted the relevant returns on various dates. Though the returns were not filed within 30 days from the date of service of the assessment orders under Section 62 and, therefore, the petitioner will not get the benefit contemplated under Section 62(2) whereby the said orders would have been deemed withdrawn. The petitioner contended that the assessing authority under Section 62 of the Act passed assessment orders on best judgment basis within a period of five years from the date specified under Section 44. The best judgment assessment itself could have been completed only after December of the financial year, which is the period mentioned in Section 44 of the Act. The Court observed that the reference to Section 44 of the Act, in Section 62, is only for the purpose of determining the five year period within which the assessing officer has to complete the best judgment assessment. It does not, mandate that the steps for completing the best judgment assessment should be initiated only after 31st December, following the end of the financial year, in which the default as regards filing of monthly returns occurred. The time limit of five years indicated in Section 62 (i) has to be seen as the outer limit prescribed by the statute for the exercise of power by the assessing authority, and not as indicative of any particular point in time from when, after detection of the default committed by the assessee, the assessing authority can proceed to complete the assessment on best judgment basis.
Held that:- The Hon’ble High Court dismissed the writ petition and directed that recovery proceedings for recovery of the amounts confirmed against the petitioner shall be kept in abeyance for a period of six weeks so as to enable the petitioner to move the Appellate Authority, in its challenge against the said assessment orders.— Amani Machine Centre Vs. The State Tax Officer, State Goods And Service Tax Department [2020] 26 TAXLOK.COM 086 (Kerala)

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