Section 95 of GST – Definitions as per GST Act

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Section 95 of GST – Definitions as per GST Act

In this Chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, –

  • (a) “advance ruling” means a decision provided by the Authority or the Appellate Authority to an applicant on matters or on questions specified in sub-section (2) of section 97 or sub-section (1) of section 100, in relation to the supply of goods or services or both being undertaken or proposed to be undertaken by the applicant;
  • (b) “Appellate Authority” means the Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling referred to in section 99;
  • (c) “applicant” means any person registered or desirous of obtaining registration under the Act;
  • (d) “application” means an application made to the Authority under sub-section (1) of section 97;
  • (e) “Authority” means the Authority for Advance Ruling, referred to in section 96;

Analysis of this section

Introduction

This section defines the expressions ‘advance ruling’, ‘applicant’, ‘application’, ‘authority’ and ‘appellate authority’, for the purpose of this chapter. The meanings of said words assigned by the definitions have to be applied unless the context otherwise requires.

Analysis

(i) The expression ‘advance ruling’ would mean matters decided by the Authority for Advance Ruling (AAR, in short) and the Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling on the questions raised by the Applicant in respect of matters specified in Section 97(2) or Section 100(1).

(ii) Such matters or questions could be in relation to supply of goods and/or supply of services being undertaken or proposed to be undertaken by the applicant. The phrase ‘being undertaken’ is a present continuous tense which refers to supply which is underway.

(iii) The word “applicant” refers to any person already registered or one who desires to get registered under the Act. It is not mandatory to have a registration at the time of making an application for advance ruling. However in case of an unregistered person it is mandatory to quote his PAN unless he is a non-resident. The term ‘Person’ has been defined in section 2(84) of the Act.

(iv) One can make an application to the authority under section 97(1) stating the question on which he seeks advance ruling. An application for advance ruling shall be made in FORM GST ARA-1.

(v) Thus, an applicant can seek Advance ruling if the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • (a) If such applicant is either registered under the GST law or is desirous of obtaining registration
  • (b) If the matter or question pertains to any issue specified in Section 97(2) If the advance ruling is sought in respect of any transaction involving supply of goods or services or both
  • (c) Such a transaction is being undertaken or is proposed to be undertaken. It is important to note that no advance ruling can be sought on transactions already undertaken in the past.

(vi) The word “authority” refers to the AAR constituted under section 96 of CGST Act, 2017 in each State or Union territory.

(vii) The expression “Appellate Authority” refers to the Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling constituted under section 99 in each State or Union territory. Therefore, every state/Union Territory will have its own Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling.

Comparative review

For the first time an appellate authority for advance ruling has been prescribed. This is a marked departure from the pre-GST regime, which did not provide for an appellate remedy against rulings given by AAR.

Also, under erstwhile laws, advance ruling could be sought by an applicant on an activity of production or manufacture of goods or import or export of goods proposed to be undertaken or a service proposed to be provided by him. However, under the GST laws, advance ruling can also be sought on a present activity of supply of goods and/or services being undertaken by the applicant.

Further, the scope of persons eligible to apply for advance ruling has been widened under the GST law as compared to the erstwhile Central Excise, Customs and Service Tax laws.

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