Assessment under GST
The term assessment under GST represents the process of determining the tax liability of an assessee. However, for the purpose of determining the assessment under GST, one should first know about the types of assessment. There are 7 different types of assessment-
- Best Judgement
- Assessment for non-filers
- Assessment for Unregistered
Self-Assessment under GST
The most common way for assessment under GST is to opt for self-assessment. Under this process every person has to first register himself under GST by obtaining a GST number and then assess his tax liability by himself at the end of tax periods. For this purpose, the person is free to seek help from professionals. However, all the furnished information would be under the confidence of the tax payer.
|Registered Person Type||Time Limit for Assessment/Returns|
|Registered Taxable Person||20th of the next month|
|Composition Persons||18th of the next month|
|Tax Deductor||10th of the next month|
|Non-Resident Taxable Person||within 20 days after the end of a calendar month or within 7 days after the last day of the period of registration specified u/s 27 (1), whichever is earlier.|
Provisional Assessment under GST
There may be a case where the assessee is finding it difficult to compute his tax liability under GST. Under this situation, he may request an officer for provisional assessment. Cases may relate to either difficulty in computing the transaction value or understanding the inclusion of receipts. The scope also extends to offering assistance in computing the rate of applicable tax, which includes, categorising goods or service and identifying the applicability of a notification.
How to opt for Provisional Assessment
In case an assessee wants to opt for provisional assessment, then he must follow the given steps:
Step – 1 Request for provisional assessment in writing
Step – 2 The respective officer can either suggest paying taxes on his given rate or ask the assessee to pay a specified value.
Step – 3 The order for provisional assessment takes a time of 90 days to be processed from the date of request.
Step – 4 A bond neds to be issued by the assessee in support of paying any difference that arises in between final assessed tax and provisional tax paid.
Step – 5 Provisional assessment needs to be supported by a final assessment later on.
What is the maximum time limit for final assessment?
Once the provisional assessment has been carried out, the assessee needs to complete the final assessment within 6 months from the date of submission of provisional assessment. However, there can be an additional extension of 6 months if the Joint Commissioner finds it fit.
Interest on the additional amount for Provisional Assessment
Upon payment of provisional tax and presenting the final assessment, there can be two cases:
- Extra tax to be paid
Extra tax to be paid: When extra tax needs to be paid, the assessee must pay an interest on the outstanding amount. The rate of interest would be 18% (maximum). Date computation would be carried on from the date on which provisional assessment was made.
Refund: There may also arise a situation where an assessee has over paid his taxes and is now subject to a refund. Under this case, the Government shall offer a 6% (maximum) interest on the amount that has been paid in extra. Again, the date of computation would be from the day on which provisional assessment was made.
The officer in charge has the power to scrutinize the return that has been filed under GST. Though there is no specific law that suggest that every account should come under the scrutiny process, the officers make random checks to ensure that returns are being filed in the given manner. In case an officer finds a return to be incorrect or doubt its genuineness, they can ask the assessee to offer a satisfactory explanation within 30 days for the same.
If the offered explanation is not satisfactory, the officer has the power to:
- Conduct a tax audit under Section 65.
- Move ahead to special audit under Section 66.
- Go for inspection and search procedure at the business’ location.
- Place a demand.
Best Judgement Assessment
Under best judgement assessment, the officer takes his reasoning for the purpose of determining the tax liability of the assessee. The action taken is free from any bias and can take place under two circumstances:
- When an assessee has not filed his return
- When a person should have registered for GST, but hasn’t.
Assessment for non-filers
This assessment takes place when an assessee has not filed his return. According to the process, this assessment takes place after the assessee has been served with a notice and the respective officer will assess the tax liability on the basis of his judgement. However, there is no opportunity of being heard given to the assessee.
Assessment for unregistered
Under this assessment, the tax officer takes into account the tax liability of those who were liable to get themselves registered under GST, but have not opted for registration. The officer may compute the tax liability for the relevant tax period on the basis of his judgement and then send in an assessment order to the defaulter within 5 years from the due date. Apart from tax liability, penalty will also be imposed.
This is basically a fast-track method of computing tax liability. The officer may have enough support to believe that any delay in determining the tax liability will harm the interest of revenue generation. For this purpose, the permission from Joint Commissioner needs to be obtained in advance.
Thus, we find that there are 7 different types of assessment. However, only self-assessment is handled by the tax payers himself. The other six categories are done by the tax authorities.