Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) or CIT(A) – First Appeal

The Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) or CIT(Appeals) is the first appellate authority and can hear an appeal by an assessee/taxpayer (by way of a statutory right) against an appealable order under section 246A of the Income Tax Act 1961 (the Act), both on issues of fact finding by lower income tax authorities (Assessing Officer ‘AO’) as well as questions of law and/or or mixed questions of law and fact.

MinusTax’ legal and taxation professionals via the e-medium (i.e. email, skype, whatsapp etc) provide the complete spectrum of services that include —

  • Expert legal assessment and analysis of the order/notice etc. to be appealed against
  • Drafting and e-filing an income tax appeal before the Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals)
  • Legal representation (option) before the Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals)
  • Drafting and filing a Stay Application against a Demand Notice before AO or CIT(A) and other necessary Miscellaneous Applications before the Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals)
  • Strategic appeal advisory services including alternative Revision Application before the Commissioner of Income Tax (where appropriate)
  • Drafting and filing a Writ Petition (where appropriate) and legal representation before the jurisdictional High Court (in its Writ jurisdiction)


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The Income Tax Act 1961 (the Act) also specifies the (appealable) orders against which an appeal can be filed before the CIT(Appeals). Some of the important orders appealable before the CIT(Appeals) as well as important procedural steps and requirements for appeal are listed below.

  • Order passed against the taxpayer in a case where the taxpayer denies the liability to be assessed under Income Tax Act
  • Intimation issued under section 143(1)/(1B) whereunder adjustments have been made in income offered to tax in the return of income
  • Scrutiny/Regular Assessment order passed under section 143(3) (except in case of an order passed in pursuance of directions of the Dispute Resolution Panel ‘DRP’)
  • Assessment order passed under section 144 (Best Judgement Assessment)
  • Order of Assessment, Re-assessment or Re-computation passed after reopening the assessment under section 147 (except an order passed in pursuance of directions of the Dispute Resolution Panel ‘DRP’)
  • Order of Assessment or Reassessment passed under section 153A (Block Assessment) or under section 158BC in case of search/seizure
  • Rectification order passed under section 154 or under section 155
  • Order passed under section 163 treating the taxpayer as agent of a Non-Resident
  • Order imposing penalty under section(s) 221/271/271A/271AAA/271F/271FB/272A/272AA/272B/272BB/275(1A)/158BFA(2)/271B/271BB/271C/271CA/271D/271E/271AAB
  • Order imposing a penalty under Chapter XXI etc.


Draft and file an Income Tax Appeal/Writ Petition

  • Click the “MinusTax Professionals” red banner below and fill-up/submit the pop-up form
  • Upload (if any) relevant documents etc.
  • Pay professional fees and charges (as quoted)
  • Receive (including via email) and file professionally drafted Appeal/Writ Petition
  • Legal representation by MinusTax Professionals before Appellate/Writ authority (optional)
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E-Form

Every appeal to the CIT(Appeals) is required to be filed in the prescribed Form No.35 and verified in the prescribed manner. Appeals through the said form to the CIT(Appeals) now require e-filing (online or electronically under digital signature or via electronic verification code or in paper form, where such option lies to the relevant assessee and as the case may be) of the same in accordance with Rule 45 Income Tax Rules 1962 (the Rules).

Documents submitted in appeal and served on the Assessing Officer

  • Form No. 35 (Memorandum of Appeal, Statement of Facts and Grounds of Appeal) in duplicate
  • One certified copy of (appealable) Order appealed against
  • Notice of Demand (in original)
  • Copy of challan of appeal filing fees as paid


Appeal Filing Fees

  • Where total income of the assessee as computed by the Assessing Officer (AO) to which the appeal relates is one hundred thousand rupees (Rs.100,000) or less, fee is Rs.250;
  • Where the said total income is more than Rs.100,000 but not more than Rs.200,000, the fee is Rs.500;
  • Where the said total income is more than Rs.200,000, the fee is Rs.1000; and
  • Where the subject matter of an appeal is not covered as mentioned above, the fee is Rs.250.


Draft and file an Income Tax Appeal/Writ Petition

  • Click the “MinusTax Professionals” red banner below and fill-up/submit the pop-up form
  • Upload (if any) relevant documents etc.
  • Pay professional fees and charges (as quoted)
  • Receive (including via email) and file professionally drafted Appeal/Writ Petition
  • Legal representation by MinusTax Professionals before Appellate/Writ authority (optional)
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Time limit to file appeal

The appeal before the CIT(Appeals) is required to be presented within 30 days of the following date, that is to say —

  • Where the appeal is under section 248 of the Act, the date of payment of the tax, or
  • Where the appeal relates to any assessment or penalty, the date of service of the notice of demand relating to the assessment or penalty; and
  • In any other case, the date on which intimation of the order sought to be appealed against is served on the concerned person.

 

Condonation of Delay

The CIT(Appeals) may admit an appeal after the expiration of the above mentioned time limit of 30 days from date of service etc. of the relevant notice/order to be appealed against, if he/she is satisfied that the appellant had sufficient cause for not presenting it within the prescribed period.

No appeal to the CIT(Appeals) is admitted unless at the time of filing of the relevant appeal —

  • Where an income tax return has been filed by the assessee, the assessee has paid the tax due on the income returned by him/her/it; or
  • Where no income tax return has been filed by the assessee, the assessee has paid an amount equal to the amount of advance tax which was payable by him/her/it.

Provided that, in the latter case and on an application made by the appellant in this respect, the CIT(Appeals) may, for any good and sufficient reason to be recorded in writing, exempt the appellant from its operation.

The CIT(Appeals) shall fix a day and place for the hearing of the appeal, and shall give notice of the same to the Appellant and to the Assessing Officer (AO) against whose order the appeal is preferred and the following general procedure shall be followed —

  • The Appellant and the AO shall be given an opportunity of being heard (including through their Authorised Representative) and presenting/establishing their case
  • The CIT(Appeals) has the power to adjourn the hearing of the appeal from time to time
  • The CIT(Appeals) may, before disposing of any appeal, make such further inquiry as he/she thinks fit, or may direct the AO to make further inquiry and report the result of the same to the CIT(Appeals)
  • The CIT(Appeals) may, at the hearing of an appeal, allow the appellant to go into any ground of appeal not specified in the grounds of appeal, if satisfied that the omission of that ground from the form of appeal was not wilful or unreasonable
  • The order of the CIT(Appeals) disposing of the appeal shall be in writing and shall state the points for determination, the decision thereon and the reason for the decision

During the appeal proceedings before the CIT(Appeals), the appellant is permitted to produce only those evidences (whether oral or documentary) which were produced by him before the Assessing Officer (AO) during the original proceedings. However, in the following circumstances additional evidence will be accepted by the CIT(Appeals) —

  • Where the AO has refused to admit evidence which ought to have been admitted; or
  • Where the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from producing the evidence which he was called upon to be produced by the AO; or
  • Where the AO has made the order appealed against without giving sufficient opportunity to the appellant to adduce evidence relevant to any ground of appeal.

 

Application and Reasonable Opportunity to AO

Normally, the concerned appellant has to make an application for acceptance of additional evidences stating the reasons for their admission. On receipt of such an application, the CIT(Appeals) may admit the same after recording reasons in writing for the admission of these evidences.

However, before taking into account such additional evidence filed by the appellant, the CIT(Appeals) has to provide a reasonable opportunity to the concerned AO for examining the additional evidence or the witness, as well as to produce evidences to rebut additional evidences produced by the appellant.

  • The CIT(Appeals) in an appeal against an order of assessment, may confirm, reduce, enhance or annul the assessment;
  • In an appeal against an order imposing a penalty, the CIT(Appeals) may confirm or cancel such order or vary it so as either to enhance or to reduce the penalty; and
  • In any other case, he/she may pass such orders in the appeal as he/she thinks fit.

However, the CIT (Appeals) cannot enhance an assessment or a penalty or reduce the amount of refund unless the appellant has had a reasonable opportunity of showing cause against such enhancement or reduction.

Further, in disposing of an appeal, the CIT(Appeals) may consider and decide any matter arising out of the proceedings in which the order appealed against was passed, notwithstanding that such matter was not raised before the CIT (Appeals) by the appellant.

 

Adjudication Time-Frame

In every appeal, the CIT (Appeals), where it is possible, may hear and decide such appeal within a period of one year from the end of the financial year in which such appeal is filed before him/her. Further, the adjudicatory order in appeal should be issued within 15 days of last hearing.

 


Administrative Help

For administrative assistance and general queries, please feel free to contact via —
Telephone: +91 8800 38 1950
Email: contact@minustax.com

Alternatively, please contact for an appointment and visit our representational office in DLF Phase IV, Gurgaon (click for Google Map directions).

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