It is almost more than 1000 days after implementing GST in India and claiming most user-friendly tax region in the world under which all indirect taxes expect few come under the same umbrella of GST but it is very unfortunate for the taxpayer that Government machinery is not supporting Government efforts by delaying in refund process despite rules and provision, notifications, Circular describe in GST Act.
When, we are indicating towards Government Machinery it means all staff either it is working in front and backend. In other words, Government Machinery is the backbone of entire GST process where Government facilitate taxpayer to deposit GST and filing their returns and claim GST refund through the online portal.
Since coin always have two sides therefore, we can define these two side of coin as advantage and disadvantage of the process, as first side of coin is admiring the Government efforts for providing online process to facilitate taxpayer whereby taxpayer saving more time and monitor entire process of GST at a glance . Second side of coin is disadvantage by which once taxpayer makes a mistake in understanding the GST process , the entire cost has to be borne by the taxpayer because this time, taxpayer have to face Government machinery which either can be front end ,i.e, Concern GST Officer or backend i.e technical team. Sometimes experience of both sides of coin become horrible for some taxpayer or sometimes it would be good but chance of good experience are very low.
As defined above, once taxpayer makes a mistake in understanding the GST process and concern GST Officer turn you in the direction of backend team, then there is no power who can save you from this invisible giant whose name is backend team because this team is not accessible to anyone except concern GST Officer.
However, Government has given different option to taxpayer for file their complaint in GST Helpdesk, CBIC Mitra Helpdesk for solution but to the some extend as technical matter handle by concern GST Officer.
Most important thing need to be discussed here is that some taxpayers who had wrongly filed their refund claiming form GST-RFD-01A NIL due to makes a mistake in understanding the GST process despite of genuine refund claim and such taxpayer are still struggling to get their refund from the department despite Government has issued Circular No. 110/29/2019-GST Dated 03.10.2019 for eligibility to file refund application in FORM GST RFD-01A for a period and category under which a NIL refund application has already been filed by taxpayer because numbers of taxpayer did same mistake.
Let we understand the rejection process of NIL Return filed by Taxpayer :- once you have filed online Form GST-RFD-01A on GST portal, it will automatically generate Acknowledgment Number Receipt. In case if you fall in the above category of mistake then concern GST Officer need to reject this NIL return from online portal of GST for filing of new refund claiming return with the requisite data whereas if generated ARN is not coming in department portal for rejection then matter will be referred to technical team because without seen ARN on department online portal , NIL return can’t be rejected by the concern GST Officer and without rejecting NIL filed return taxpayer can’t file Form GST-RFD-01A again.
Now these matters will be transferred to technical team who is working in backend for rectification of such type of problem and this team is accessible to GST Officer only. Therefore , GST Officer is only resource for taxpayer who can help in rectification such mistake. It is very interesting that GST Helpdesk, CBIC Mitra Helpdesk could not help because matter is related to GST officer portal and GST Officer is the only person who can approach to the technical team as defined above.
However, taxpayer is entitled to get interest from the department on delay in payment of refund but money that does not work on time has no value. At last taxpayer is still struggling & suffering from huge financial loss, cash flow and mental harassment because huge amount of refund is stuck in department in the name of technical issue and taxpayer is crushing in between of GST officer & technical team despite of Government issued circular for rectification of such mistake as defined above.
This Circular has no value because it is not bound by period of limitation therefore , no one is bother about the refund status of taxpayer and interest paid by department on delay in refund payment.
Refund process should be define within time limit such as date of tax deposit , filing of return date defined in GST ACT as well as concern GST officer should be answerable to department for interest paid in refund cases and delay in process of refund and after completion of one month from date of ARN , refund status report should be accelerate to Top GST officer and after Six months status of pending refund should be reflected in GST official web site just like defaulter list of loan shown in Ministry of Finance.
Since we are moving towards online business and transactions, therefore Government need to fix time limit for refund cases as defined above to save interest paid by the department in delay payment of Refund and concern GST Officer should be answerable to GST Department and Ministry of Ministry for such delay.