Timely refund mechanism is essential in tax administration, as it facilitates trade through the release of blocked funds for working capital, expansion and modernisation of existing business. The provisions pertaining to refund contained in the GST law aim to streamline and standardise the refund procedures under GST regime. Thus, under the GST regime, there will be a standardised form for making any claim for refunds. The claim and sanctioning procedure will be completely online and time bound, which is a marked departure from the existing time consuming and cumbersome procedure.
CIRCUMSTANCES FOR REFUND CLAIMS
The relevant date provision embodied in Section 54 of the CGST Act, 2017, provision contained in Section 77 of the CGST Act, 2017 and the requirement of submission of relevant documents as listed in Rule 1(2) of Refund Rules is an indicator of the various situations that may necessitate a refund claim. A claim for refund may arise on account of:
1. Export of goods or services
2. Supplies to SEZs units and developers
3. Deemed exports
4. Refund of taxes on purchase made by UN or embassies etc.
5. Refund arising on account of judgment, decree, order or direction of the Appellate Authority, Appellate Tribunal or any court
6. Refund of accumulated Input Tax Credit on account of inverted duty structure
7. Finalization of provisional assessment
8. Refund of pre-deposit
9. Excess payment due to mistake
10. Refunds to International tourists of GST paid on goods in India and carried abroad at the time of their departure from India
11. Refund on account of issuance of refund vouchers for taxes paid on advances against which, goods or services have not been supplied
12. Refund of CGST & SGST paid by treating the supply as intrastate supply which is subsequently held as inter-State supply and vice versa.
Time Limit for Filing GST Refund Request
1. GST Refund Claim on Exports
Treatment for Zero Rated Supplies
All exports (whether of goods or services) as well as supplies to SEZs have been categorized as Zero-Rated Supplies in the IGST Act.
“Zero rated supply” under Section 16 of the IGST Act, 2017 means any of the following supplies of goods or services or both, namely:
(a) export of goods or services or both; or
(b) supply of goods or services or both to a Special Economic Zone developer or a Special Economic Zone unit.
On account of zero rating of supplies, the supplier will be entitled to claim input tax credit in respect of goods or services or both used for such supplies even though they might be non-taxable or even exempt supplies.
Every person making claim of refund on account of zero rated supplies has two options:
Thus, the GST law allows the flexibility to the exporter (which, will include the supplier making supplies to SEZ) to claim refund upfront as integrated tax (by making supplies on payment of tax using ITC) or export without payment of tax by executing a Bond/LUT and claim refund of related ITC of taxes paid on inputs and input services used in making zero rated supplies.
2. Process Grant of Provisional Refund in Case of Zero Rated Supplies
3. PAYMENT OF WRONG TAX
4. Claim by a Person who has Borne the Incidence of Tax
5. Refund to UN Bodies and Other Notified Agencies
Supplies made to UN bodies and embassies may be exempted from payment of GST as per international obligations. However, this exemption is being operationalized by way of a refund mechanism. So, a taxable person making supplies to such bodies would charge the tax due and remit the same to government account. However, the UN bodies and other entities notified under Section 55 of the CGST Act, 2017 can claim refund of the taxes paid by them on their purchases.
TIMELINES FOR REFUND
6. Refunds to Casual/Non-Resident Taxable Persons
Casual/Non-resident taxable person has to pay tax in advance at the time of registration. Refund may become due to such persons at the end of the registration period because the tax paid in advance may be more than the actual tax liability on the supplies made by them during the period of validity of registration period. The law envisages refund to such categories of taxable persons also.
TIMELINES FOR REFUND