FinMin to start another special refund drive from May 31 to expedite exporters’ GST-related refunds

The Finance Ministry will start another ‘special drive refund fortnight’ from Thursday to expedite Goods and Services Tax (GST) related refund claims of exporters pending on or before April 30. The drive is going to continue till June 14.

Till now, the government has sanctioned more than Rs 30,000 cr as GST refund, out of which Rs 16,000 cr pertains to Integrated GST (IGST) and the rest being input tax credit (ITC) refund, the finance ministry said on Wednesday.

In its first special fortnight-long clearance drive, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) had sanctioned refunds worth Rs 17,616 crore till March 31 to exporters who were grappling with liquidity issues owing to the shift into the new indirect tax system from July 1 last year.

The ministry’s statement comes a day after apex trade promotion body Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) said that GST-related refunds as much as Rs 20,000 crore is pending with the Centre and state tax departments.

Finance Ministry said that the figures quoted by the trade promotion body is inflated and refunds worth Rs 14,000 crore is pending.

“Refund claims to the tune of Rs 14,000 cr (Rs 7,000 cr on the IGST side and Rs 7,000 cr on account of ITC) are pending with the government as on date (May 30), as against the figure of Rs 20,000 crore projected by FIEO in the press reports,” finance ministry said.

While FIEO said that the highly successful fortnight clearance drive in March, gave them hope that refund will be provided on real time basis, the GST refund process has considerably slowed down after the clearance drive.

However, the ministry denied such claims and clarified that after the first refund fortnight in March, the refund sanctioned during May were Rs 8,000 cr.

CBIC, the apex policy making body under finance ministry’s department of revenue, is implementing a solution that will enable the refunds held in the online portal GST Network (GSTN), in cases where the exporters have mistakenly declared their export supplies as domestic supplies, would now be transmitted to Customs EDI System.

“A circular…has been issued in this regard. On receipt of the records from GSTN, the Customs System would automatically process the refunds for sanction, if no other errors are committed by exporters,” the ministry said.

The government also said that the refund application in Form GST RFD-01A (refund form) will not be processed unless a copy of the application, along with all supporting documents, is submitted to the jurisdictional tax office, along with online submission.

“All GST refund claimants are encouraged to approach their jurisdictional tax authority for disposal of any of their refund claims submitted on or before April 30, which are still pending. In case the jurisdiction (i.e. Centre or State) has not been defined for a particular claimant, he/she can approach either of the jurisdictional tax authorities,” ministry said.

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