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Income Tax Appellate Tribunal and Appeals


 Income Tax Appellate Tribunal and Appeals

Appellate Tribunal refers to a group of judicial and accounting personnel who oversee appeals procedures relating to the Income Tax Act. The tribunal is appointed by the Central Government for the purpose of exercising the powers and discharging the duties laid down by the Act.

Who can be a Judicial Member?

To be a judicial member, a person must satisfy any of the criteria mentioned below:

  • Held a judicial office in Indian territory for at-least ten years.
  • Has been a member of the Indian Legal Service, and has held a post in Grade 2 of that service, or any identical or higher post.
  • Has been an advocate for at least 10 years.

Who can be an Accountant Member?

To be an accountant member, a person must satisfy any of the criteria mentioned below:

  • Must have practised accountancy for a period of ten years as a Charted Accountant under the Charted Accountants Act, 1949.
  • Must have been a registered accountant under any law formerly in force.
  • Must have acted partly as a registered accountant and partly as a Charted Accountant.
  • Has been a member of the Indian Income Tax service, Group A, and has held the post of Additional Commissioner of Income-tax or any identical or higher post for a minimum of three years.

Who can be appointed as President?

The Central Government may appoint any of the following persons as president:

  • A person who is either a sitting or retired Judge of a High Court, and has completed not less than seven years of service as a Judge in a High Court.
  • Any of the current Vice-Presidents of the Appellate Tribunal.

Who can be appointed as Vice-President?

The Central Government may choose one or more members of the Appellate Tribunal to occupy the post of a Vice-President.

Appeals to Appellate Tribunal

Since we now have a basic idea of an Appellate Tribunal, let’s explore its provision pertaining to Income Tax appeals:

Orders which can be subject to Appeal

An assessee may file an appeal to the Appellate Tribunal against the following orders:

  • An order passed by the Commissioner (Appeals).
  • An order passed by a Principal Commissioner or Commissioner.
  • An order passed by an assessing officer.
  • An order imposing penalty by a Principal Chief Commissioner/Chief Commissioner,  Principal Director General/Director General or Principal Director/Director under Section 272A.
  • Appeals against the rejection of approval of a religious/charitable institution.
  • Appeals against the order of Dispute Resolution Panel.

Note:- The Principal Commissioner/Commissioner, on any objections to an order passed by the Principal Commissioner/Commissioner, may ask the Assessing Officer to file an appeal to the Appellate Authority.


Appeals to the Appellate Tribunal must be filed within 60 days of the date of issue of the order subject to appeal. On the other hand, in case of filing cross objections, the time-limit will be 30 days from the date of receipt of the notice.

Condonation of Delay

The Appellate Tribunal can condone delays in filing of appeals or cross-objections if the Tribunal believes the delay was due to a satisfactory cause.

Forms and Documents to be Attached

Appeals to Appellate Tribunal must be filed in Form No. 36, while a memorandum of cross-objections is to be filed in Form No. 36A. The appeal and the memorandum must be filed in triplicate, along with two copies each of the order appealed against and the orders of the Assessing Officer. Two copies of the grounds of appeal and the statement of facts must be filed. Moreover, if the appeal is against an order of penalty, two copies of the relevant assessment order must be filed. Orders from the dispute resolution panel, for orders before 1/6/2016, shall be filed before the Appellate Tribunal in Form No. 36B.

Fee for Filing Appeal

The following are the prescribed fees for filing an appeal.

  • Where the total income/loss of the assessee doesn’t exceed Rs 1,00,000- Rs 500.
  • Where the total income of the assessee exceeds Rs 1,00,000 but doesn’t exceed Rs 2,00,000- Rs 1,500.
  • Where the total income exceeds Rs 2,00,000 or 1% of the assessee’s income, whichever is higher – Rs 10,000.
  • Where the context of the appeal differs from the ones mentioned above- Rs 500.

Where Payment of Fees is Exempted

The following are the instances where payment of fees isn’t a formality:

  • Appeals filed by Principal Commissioner/Commissioner.
  • Memorandum of cross-objections filed either by the assessee or the department.

Authorized Signature

Form No. 36 should contain the signature of an authorized person.

Defects are Pardonable

The Appellate Authority has the authority to rectify defects in appeal papers. However, the assessee should mend the defects within a reasonable period of time. The rules state that the authority should intimate the assessee of the error and provide the assessee with ample time to amend the information.