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Everything about Refunds in GST

Samrat Sarabu 
on 24 November 2017

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Situations for Refund under GST

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 Refund Rules is an indicator of the various situations that may necessitate a refund claim. A claim for refund may arise on account of:

• Export of goods or services.
• Supplies to SEZs units and developers
• Deemed exports
• Refund of taxes on purchase made by UN or embassies etc.
• Refund arising on account of judgment, decree, order, or direction of the Appellate Authority, Appellate Tribunal, or any court.
• Refund of accumulated Input Tax Credit on account of inverted duty structure
• Finalization of provisional assessment
• Refund of pre-deposit
• Excess payment due to mistake.
• Refunds to International tourists of GST paid on goods in India and carried abroad at the time of their departure from India.
• Refund on account of issuance of refund vouchers for taxes paid on advances against which, goods or services have not been supplied.
• 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 refund claim

• Thus, practically every situation is covered. The GST law requires that every claim for refund is to be filed within 2 years from the relevant date.

• An agency of the United Nations Organization or any multilateral financial institution and organizations notified under the United Nations, Consulate or Foreign embassies are all entitled to refund of tax on inward supply of goods and services or both. An application has to be filed for the refund before the expiry of 6 months from last day of the quarter in which such goods/service were received.

Refund Process under the GST:

• Any person, except the persons covered under notification issued under section 55, claiming refund of any tax, interest, penalty, fees or any other amount paid by him, other than refund of integrated tax paid on goods exported out of India, may file an application electronically in FORM GST RFD-01 through the common portal, either directly or through a Facilitation Centre notified by the Commissioner:

Acknowledgement:

• Where the application relates to a claim for refund from the electronic cash ledger, an acknowledgement in FORM GST RFD-02 shall be made available to the applicant through the common portal electronically, clearly indicating the date of filing of the claim for refund and the time period specified in sub-section (7) of section 54 shall be counted from such date of filing.

Sec 54(7) - The proper officer shall issue the order under sub-section (5) within sixty days from the date of receipt of application complete in all respects.

• The application for refund, other than claim for refund from electronic cash ledger, shall be forwarded to the proper officer who shall, within a period of fifteen days of filing of the said application, scrutinize the application for its completeness and where the application is found to be complete in terms of sub-rule (2), (3) and (4)of rule 89, an acknowledgement in FORM GST RFD-02 shall be made available to the applicant through the common portal electronically, clearly indicating the date of filing of the claim for refund and the time period specified in sub-section (7) of section 54 shall be counted from such date of filing.

• Where any deficiencies are noticed, the proper officer shall communicate the deficiencies to the applicant in FORM GST RFD-03 through the common portal electronically, requiring him to file a fresh refund application after rectification of such deficiencies.

• Where deficiencies have been communicated in FORM GST RFD-03 under the State Goods and Service Tax Rules, 2017, the same shall also deemed to have been communicated under this rule along with the deficiencies communicated under sub-rule (3).

Grant of provisional refund:

• The provisional refund in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (6) of section 54 shall be granted subject to the condition that the person claiming refund has, during any period of five years immediately preceding the tax period to which the claim for refund relates, not been prosecuted for any offence under the Act or under an existing law where the amount of tax evaded exceeds two hundred and fifty lakh rupees.

• The proper officer, after scrutiny of the claim and the evidence submitted in support thereof and on being prima facie satisfied that the amount claimed as refund under sub-rule (1) is due to the applicant in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (6) of section 54, shall make an order in FORM GST RFD-04, sanctioning the amount of refund due to the said applicant on a provisional basis within a period not exceeding seven days from the date of the acknowledgement under sub-rule (1) or sub-rule (2) of rule 90.

• The proper officer shall issue a payment advice in FORM GST RFD-05 for the amount sanctioned under sub-rule (2) and the same shall be electronically credited to any of the bank accounts of the applicant mentioned in his registration particulars and as specified in the application for refund.

Consumer welfare Fund:

Sec 57 - The Government shall constitute a Fund, to be called the Consumer Welfare Fund and there shall be credited to the Fund,-

(a) the amount referred to in sub-section (5) of section 54;
(b) any income from investment of the amount credited to the Fund; and
(c) such other monies received by it, in such manner as may be prescribed.

Sec 54 (5) - If, on receipt of any such application, the proper officer is satisfied that the whole or part of the amount claimed as refund is refundable, he may make an order accordingly and the amount so determined shall be credited to the Fund referred to in section 57.

• All credits to the Consumer Welfare Fund shall be made under sub-rule (5) of rule 92.

Rule 92 (5) - Where the proper officer is satisfied that the amount refundable under sub- rule (1) or sub-rule (2) is not payable to the applicant under sub-section (8) of section 54, he shall make an order in FORM GST RFD-06 and issue an advice in FORM GST RFD-05, for the amount of refund to be credited to the Consumer Welfare Fund.

Sec 54 (1) -

• Any person claiming refund of any tax and interest, if any, paid on such tax or any other amount paid by him, may make an application before the expiry of two years from the relevant date in such form and manner as may be prescribed:

• Provided that a registered person, claiming refund of any balance in the electronic cash ledger in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (6) of section 49, may claim such refund in the return furnished under section 39 in such manner as may be prescribed.

Sec 54 (2) - A specialized agency of the United Nations Organization or any Multilateral Financial Institution and Organization notified under the United Nations (Privileges and Immunities) Act, 1947, Consulate or Embassy of foreign countries or any other person or class of persons, as notified under section 55, entitled to a refund of tax paid by it on inward supplies of goods or services or both, may make an application for such refund, in such form and manner as may be prescribed, before the expiry of six months from the last day of the quarter in which such supply was received.

Sec 54 (8) - Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (5), the refundable amount shall, instead of being credited to the Fund, be paid to the applicant, if such amount is relatable to -

(a) refund of tax paid on zero-rated supplies of goods or services or both or on inputs or input services used in making such zero-rated supplies;

(b) refund of unutilized input tax credit under sub-section (3);

(c) refund of tax paid on a supply which is not provided, either wholly or partially, and for which invoice has not been issued, or where a refund voucher has been issued;

(d) refund of tax in pursuance of section 77;

(e) the tax and interest, if any, or any other amount paid by the applicant, if he had not passed on the incidence of such tax and interest to any other person; or

(f) the tax or interest borne by such other class of applicants as the Government may, on the recommendations of the Council, by notification, specify.

Documentation:

• The applicant needs to file elaborate documents along with the refund claim. Standardized and easy to understand documents have been prescribed. Thus, for every claim, the main document prescribed is a statement of relevant invoices (NOT THE INVOICES ITSELF) pertaining to the claim.

• The application under sub-rule (1) shall be accompanied by any of the following documentary evidences in Annexure 1 in Form GST RFD-01, as applicable, to establish that a refund is due to the applicant, namely: -

1) the reference number of the order and a copy of the order passed by the proper officer or an appellate authority or Appellate Tribunal or court resulting in such refund or reference number of the payment of the amount specified in subsection (6) of section 107 and sub-section (8) of section 112 claimed as refund;

2) a statement containing the number and date of shipping bills or bills of export and the number and the date of the relevant export invoices, in a case where the refund is on account of export of goods;

3) a statement containing the number and date of invoices and the relevant Bank Realisation Certificates or Foreign Inward Remittance Certificates, as the case may be, in a case where the refund is on account of the export of services;

4) a statement containing the number and date of invoices as provided in rule 46 along with the evidence regarding the endorsement specified in the second proviso to sub-rule (1) in the case of the supply of goods made to a Special Economic Zone unit or a Special Economic Zone developer;

5) a statement containing the number and date of invoices, the evidence regarding the endorsement specified in the second proviso to sub-rule (1) and the details of payment, along with the proof thereof, made by the recipient to the supplier for authorised operations as defined under the Special Economic Zone Act, 2005, in a case where the refund is on account of supply of services made to a Special Economic Zone unit or a Special Economic Zone developer;

6) a declaration to the effect that the Special Economic Zone unit or the Special Economic Zone developer has not availed the input tax credit of the tax paid by the supplier of goods or services or both, in a case where the refund is on account of supply of goods or services made to a Special Economic Zone unit or a Special Economic Zone developer;

7) a statement containing the number and date of invoices along with such other evidence as may be notified in this behalf, in a case where the refund is on account of deemed exports;

8) a statement containing the number and the date of the invoices received and issued during a tax period in a case where the claim pertains to refund of any unutilised input tax credit under sub-section (3) of section 54 where the credit has accumulated on account of the rate of tax on the inputs being higher than the rate of tax on output supplies, other than nil-rated or fully exempt supplies;

9) the reference number of the final assessment order and a copy of the said order in a case where the refund arises on account of the finalisation of provisional assessment;

10) a statement showing the details of transactions considered as intra-State supply but which is subsequently held to be inter-State supply;

11) a statement showing the details of the amount of claim on account of excess payment of tax;

12) a declaration to the effect that the incidence of tax, interest or any other amount claimed as refund has not been passed on to any other person, in a case where the amount of refund claimed does not exceed two lakh rupees:

Provided that a declaration is not required to be furnished in respect of the cases covered under clause (a) or clause (b) or clause (c) or clause (d) or clause (f) of sub-section (8) of section 54;

13) a Certificate in Annexure 2 of FORM GST RFD-01 issued by a chartered accountant or a cost accountant to the effect that the incidence of tax, interest or any other amount claimed as refund has not been passed on to any other person, in a case where the amount of refund claimed exceeds two lakh rupees:

Provided that a certificate is not required to be furnished in respect of cases covered under clause (a) or clause (b) or clause (c) or clause (d) or clause (f) of subsection (8) of section 54;

Sec 54 (8) - Cases under which declaration or a certificate is not required as per Rule 89(2) (l) & (m):

Clause (a) - refund of tax paid on zero-rated supplies of goods or services or both or on inputs or input services used in making such zero-rated supplies.

Clause (b) - refund of unutilised input tax credit under sub-section (3)

Sec 54 (3) - Subject to the provisions of sub-section (10), a registered person may claim refund of any unutilised input tax credit at the end of any tax period:

1. Provided that no refund of unutilised input tax credit shall be allowed in cases other than--

(i) zero rated supplies made without payment of tax;

(ii) where the credit has accumulated on account of rate of tax on inputs being higher than the rate of tax on output supplies (other than nil rated or fully exempt supplies), except supplies of goods or services or both as may be notified by the Government on the recommendations of the Council:

Provided further that no refund of unutilised input tax credit shall be allowed in cases where the goods exported out of India are subjected to export duty: Provided also that no refund of input tax credit shall be allowed, if the supplier of goods or services or both avails of drawback in respect of central tax or claims refund of the integrated tax paid on such supplies.

Clause (c) - refund of tax paid on a supply which is not provided, either wholly or partially, and for which invoice has not been issued, or where a refund voucher has been issued;

Clause (d) - refund of tax in pursuance of section 77;

Sec 77 - Tax wrongfully collected and paid to Central Government or State Government:

1. A registered person who has paid the Central tax and State tax or, as the case may be, the Central tax and the Union territory tax on a transaction considered by him to be an intra-State supply, but which is subsequently held to be an inter-State supply, shall be refunded the amount of taxes so paid in such manner and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed.

2. A registered person who has paid integrated tax on a transaction considered by him to be an inter-State supply, but which is subsequently held to be an intra-State supply, shall not be required to pay any interest on the amount of central tax and State tax or, as the case may be, the Central tax and the Union territory tax payable.

Clause (f) - the tax or interest borne by such other class of applicants as the Government may, on the recommendations of the Council, by notification, specify.


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