Monday, March 11, 2024

CBDT Releases Comprehensive Guidelines for Priority Disposal of Pending Appeals

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has taken a significant step towards enhancing the efficiency and responsiveness of the tax appeals process. With the issuance of the latest memo F.No. 279/Misc./M-102/2021-ITJ on 7th March 2024, the CBDT aims to prioritize and expedite the disposal of pending appeals, thus marking a crucial advancement in tax administration and governance. This initiative supersedes the prior guidelines introduced in December 2021 and focuses on specific criteria to ensure fair and swift justice in tax-related disputes.

Detailed Insights into the New Guidelines:

  • Scope of Priority Appeals: Appeals are identified for priority or out-of-turn consideration based on several critical factors. These include cases where the demand exceeds Rs. 1 Crore, instances involving references from VIPs or the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) for expedited disposal, directives from courts mandating swift processing, appeals filed by senior and super senior citizens, and other cases identified as involving genuine hardship.
  • Process and Procedure: The updated process underscores the importance of recommendations from the jurisdictional Principal Commissioner of Income Tax (Pr.CIT) or equivalent authorities. The decision to expedite an appeal, based on these recommendations, rests with the Principal Chief Commissioners of Income Tax (Pr.CCsIT) or their equivalent. For appeals under the domain of faceless assessment, the Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (National Faceless Appeal Centre) [Pr.CCIT(NFAC)] is responsible for overseeing the expedited process, ensuring consistency and fairness across the board.
  • Objective and Impact: By outlining specific criteria for the prioritization of appeals, the CBDT aims to address the backlog of cases and focus on those requiring immediate attention due to financial implications, legal mandates, or personal hardship. This approach not only streamlines the appeals process but also demonstrates the government's dedication to improving the tax administration system, making it more efficient, transparent, and user-friendly.


The introduction of the 2024 guidelines by the CBDT for the priority disposal of tax appeals is a significant development that promises a more responsive, fair, and efficient resolution of tax disputes. This move is highly anticipated by taxpayers and professionals alike, offering a streamlined path towards the resolution of appeals and underscoring the government's commitment to enhancing tax governance and justice.