Section 169 of the CGST Act, 2017 -

Service of Notice in Certain Circumstances

Extract of Section 169 of the CGST Act, 2017

Section 169 of the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) Act 2017 lays down the provisions regarding the service of notices in various circumstances. The full text of the section is as follows:

Section 169: Service of Notice in Certain Circumstances

(1) Any decision, order, summons, notice, or other communication under this Act or the rules made thereunder shall be served by any one of the following methods, namely:—

(a) by giving or tendering it directly or by a messenger, including a courier to the addressee or the person duly authorised to receive such communication on behalf of the addressee;

(b) by registered post or speed post or courier with acknowledgement due to the person for whom it is intended or his authorised representative, if any, at his last known place of business or residence;

(c) by sending a communication to his email address provided at the time of registration or as amended from time to time;

(d) by making it available on the common portal;

(e) by publication in a newspaper circulating in the locality in which the person to whom it is addressed is last known to have resided, carried on business, or personally worked for gain;

(f) if none of the modes aforesaid is practicable, by affixing it in some conspicuous place at his last known place of business or residence, and if such mode is also not practicable, then by attaching a copy thereof on the notice board of the office of the concerned officer or authority who or which passed such decision or order or issued such summons or notice.

Example Scenario

Imagine a scenario where a taxpayer has not filed their GST returns for several months despite repeated reminders. The GST authorities decide to issue a notice for the same. Here’s how the provisions of Section 169 could apply:

  1. Direct Delivery: The notice is delivered personally to the taxpayer at their registered place of business.
  2. Registered Post: If direct delivery is not feasible, the notice is sent via registered post to the taxpayer’s last known address.
  3. Email: A copy of the notice is emailed to the taxpayer’s registered email address.
  4. GST Portal: The notice is uploaded on the common GST portal, and an alert is sent to the taxpayer.
  5. Publication in Newspaper: The notice is published in a local newspaper if the taxpayer cannot be reached through the above methods.
  6. Affixing Notice: As a last resort, the notice is affixed at a conspicuous place at the taxpayer’s last known business address.

Legal Recourse and Proceedings

Legal Recourse

Upon receiving a GST notice, the taxpayer has the right to:

  • Respond: Provide explanations, documents, or clarifications as requested in the notice.
  • Rectify Errors: Correct any discrepancies identified in the notice.
  • Appeal: If the taxpayer disagrees with the notice or subsequent orders, they can file an appeal within the prescribed time frame.

Legal Proceedings

Failure to respond to a GST notice can lead to:

  • Assessment Orders: Authorities may proceed with ex parte assessments based on available information.
  • Penalties and Interest: Additional tax liability, interest, and penalties may be levied.
  • Prosecution: In severe non-compliance or fraud cases, prosecution under GST laws can be initiated.

Penalties and Prosecution

  • Monetary Penalties: Depending on the nature of non-compliance, monetary penalties as specified under various sections of the CGST Act may be imposed.
  • Interest: Interest on the unpaid tax amount from the due date till the actual payment date.
  • Prosecution: Prosecution may include imprisonment and fines for cases involving fraudulent activities or wilful misrepresentation.

Do’s and Don’ts of Receiving a GST Notice


  1. Read Carefully: Thoroughly read the notice to understand the requirements and deadlines.
  2. Verify Details: Check the notice for accuracy regarding your details and the specific tax period.
  3. Consult a Professional: If unsure about the notice’s implications, consult a GST practitioner or tax consultant.
  4. Respond Promptly: Provide the required information or explanations within the specified time frame.
  5. Maintain Records: Keep copies of the notice and your response for future reference.


  1. Ignore the Notice: Ignoring the notice can lead to penalties and adverse legal actions.
  2. Delay Response: Delaying the response can escalate the issue and attract higher penalties.
  3. Provide Incorrect Information: Ensure all information is accurate and complete to avoid further complications.
  4. Overlook Deadlines: Adhering to the deadlines mentioned in the notice is crucial.

Legal Remedy

If a taxpayer believes that the notice issued is unjust or incorrect, the following legal remedies are available:

  1. Filing an Appeal: Taxpayers can appeal against the notice or order with the appropriate appellate authority.
  2. Revisional Authority: In some instances, a revision application can be filed with the higher authority to review the decision.
  3. Judicial Review: As a last resort, taxpayers can approach the High Court or Supreme Court for judicial review if they believe there has been a violation of principles of natural justice or legal provisions.


Section 169 of the CGST Act 2017 ensures that GST notices are served in a manner that adequately informs taxpayers. By understanding the provisions of this section, taxpayers can better navigate the process of receiving and responding to GST notices, thereby ensuring compliance and minimising legal complications.


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