How To file an appeal before CIT (A) – Revised Procedure, Time Limits and Fees
by CA Ankit Gulgulia (Jain)

This article will explain everything about CIT (A).In the first part , we will understand the meaning of CIT (A).Thereafter, we will go through the orders against which the appeal can be filed with CIT (A).This section will also deal with time limit allowed for appeal. This article will deal with the procedure of filing appeal and other relevant provisions.
Who is CIT (A)?

CIT (A) refers to the Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals). CIT (A) is the first appellate authority.The appeal can be filed with CIT (A) against the order passed by the AO (Assessng Officer).This means that if the tax payer is aggrieved by order of AO , then he can approach CIT (A).
Powers of CIT (A) as Appellate Authority

– Can confirm , reduce , enhance or annul the assessment because its powers are at par with Assessing Officer.
– Does not have the power to set aside the assessment order.
– Cannot refer the case back to AO for fresh assessment.
– Empowered to make further enquiries after disposing of an appeal.
– May allow the taxpayer to go for any ground of appeal, even if not mentioned in ground of appeals.Only condition is that such omission of additional ground should not have been willful or unreasonable.
– Can condone the delay in filing of appeal.
– Empowered to rectify any mistake apparent on record.
– Can cancel , confirm , enhance or reduce penalty order, where appeal is filed against order of penalty.
– Where proceedings before Settlement Commision abate, CIT (A)may consider the material and evidences produced before the commission by the tax payer.
– Empowered to stay the demand of AO for a minimum period of 180 days.
– Empowered to pass any order against the favour of taxpayer .However , giving the appellant reasonable opportunity of being heard is the preceding condition.Such order may include
a. Enhancing assessment (increase in tax or taxable income or penalty) or,
b. Reducing the refund.

Orders which are not appealable
– Order levying interest on tax
– Order rejecting Revision Petition
– Order of AAR (Authority of Advanced Rulings)
– Order of SC (Settlement Commission)

Features of E Filing 
– E filing of appeal before CIT (A) is compulsory for those , who are required to file return electronically.However ,any other person can also opt for electronic fling of appeal.
– E filing of appeal can be done through the official website of Income Tax Department
– Where the return was filed with digital signature , the appeal is also required to be signed digitally.

Procedure of filing of appeal electronically
– Electronic filing of appeal has introduced new Form 35.It has several additional features as compared to old form
a. Email Id
b. TAN no to be given (if applicable)
c. Appeal details of the appeals pending with CIT (A)
d. Details of assessment order or penalty order
e. List of documentary evidence
f. Reason for delay if any
– Firstly fill in this new form 35 by logging into Income Tax website.this form is pre filled with PAN number.Income tax website has a self explanatory procedure for e filing , which is very easy to follow.

– The form 35 requires various documents to be attached which are
a. Statement of facts
b. Grounds of appeal
c. Certified copy of order against which appeal is filed
d. Notice of demand
e. Copy of challan for payment of fees.

Points to remember 

– Fees for filing appeal

Assessed IncomeFees
Less than or equal to Rs 100000Rs 250
100000- 200000Rs 500
More than Rs 200000Rs 1000
Any other matter (than assesses income)Rs 250

– Pre deposit of tax

The tax payer has to pay tax as per return of income filed, before filing the appeal .However ,if tax payer has to pay advance tax if return of income is not filed.
CIT (A) can exempt the tax payer from payment of tax .In such a case , the tax payer has to prove good and sufficient reason for no payment of tax.

– Time limit for appeal filing 

Appeal relating toTo be filed within 30 days of
Assessment or penaltyDate of service of notice of demand
Appeal U/S 248Date of tax payment
Any other caseDate of intimation of order


CBDT (Central Board of Direct taxes) has announced Electronic filing for following
– Reduction in paper work
– Reduction in compliances
– Reduction in costs of filing the appeal
– Improvement in digital implementation
– Removing human interface
– Providing efficient and accurate services
– Facilitating hearing of appeal fixation electronically.
This scheme will surely bring convenience and saving in time taken. 

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