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Income Tax Appellate Tribunal

India's Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) was set up on 25 January 1941, and it was the first experiment in tribunalization in the history of India. It is second appellate authority under the direct taxes and first independent forum in its appellate hierarchy. The orders passed by the ITAT can be subjected to appellate challenge, on substantial questions of law, before the respective High Court.

Income Tax Appellate Tribunal
Agency overview
Parent agency Department of Legal Affairs
Website itat.nic.in

With a view to ensure highest degree of independence of the ITAT, it functions under the Department of Legal Affairs in the Ministry of Law and Justice, and is kept away from any kind of control by the Ministry of Finance.

The appeals before the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal are generally heard by a division bench- consisting of one judicial member and one accountant member. In cases involving assessed income of less than15 lakh (US$23,000), however, any one Member, though with a work experience of minimum five years in the Tribunal, can decide the appeals in a single member bench as well.[1] Monetary limit for deciding an appeal by a single member Bench of ITAT enhanced from 15 lakh (US$23,000) to 50 lakh (US$78,000) in 2016 Union budget of India.[2] In case of conflict of opinions by the division benches on the issues involved in an appeal, the appeals are sometimes heard by the special benches consisting of three of more members- at least one of which must be a judicial member and at least one of which must be an accountant member.

The Indian Income Tax Appellate Tribunal is considered to be a very successful experiment in tribunalization and is often cited to justify more steps in this direction.

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