CBIC Launches ‘Samay’ App to Expedite Tax Appeals Resolution

In a proactive move towards enhancing efficiency and reducing the timeline for tax appeals, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has introduced a groundbreaking mobile application named ‘Samay.’

Designed to offer swift updates on the progress and status of tax appeals, the ‘Samay’ app tracks cases throughout the litigation process, providing officials with real-time insights. This innovative tool captures outstanding orders across various levels, including adjudicating authorities, the Customs, Excise, and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (Cestat), and High Courts.

The app not only consolidates information on pending cases but also furnishes details on the status of review orders, indicating whether they are in processing stages at different levels or awaiting action at the commissionerate level.

CBIC officials anticipate a substantial reduction in litigation time through the use of the ‘Samay’ app, streamlining the resolution of tax appeals. Zonal heads can now monitor the time taken by their staff to address issues, with monthly reminders aiding in this process.

Launched officially during the National Coordination Meeting last month, the ‘Samay’ app became accessible to officials on January 15. Featuring a user-friendly interface, the application provides comprehensive summaries of cases and rulings, offering valuable guidance to officials on specific demands and legal positions.

Highlighting the app’s primary focus on expediting the resolution of tax appeals, a top CBIC official emphasized the critical role of technology in achieving this objective. The ‘Samay’ app is expected to enhance transparency and accountability in the tax appeals process, empowering officials to track case progress more effectively.

The intricate process of addressing allegations against GST taxpayers involves multiple layers, commencing with the adjudicating officer and progressing through the appellate authority (commissioner of appeals) before reaching tribunals. As of March 31, 2023, Cestat reported approximately 80,000 pending cases, with an average pendency duration of 4-5 years, according to revenue department data.

CBIC aims to revolutionize tax appeal management by leveraging technology and providing real-time information through the ‘Samay’ app. This approach is anticipated to facilitate a more expeditious and transparent resolution process, benefiting both the department and taxpayers alike.