Resolving ITC Discrepancies under GST

CA Aman Rajput , Last updated: 10 February 2024  
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The GST regime, implemented in India from July 1, 2017, brought significant changes to the taxation system. However, the transition to GST was not without challenges, particularly concerning the filing of returns and claiming input tax credit (ITC). In a recent judgment by the Kerala High Court in the case of Kochi Medicals v. State Tax Officer, the court addressed the issue of mismatch between GST returns filed by a petitioner and the corresponding input tax credit available, highlighting the complexities faced by taxpayers during the initial stages of GST implementation.

Resolving Input Tax Credit Discrepancies under GST

Background of the Case

Kochi Medicals, a registered dealer under the CGST/SGST Act, 2017, filed returns for the period from July 2017 to March 2018. Subsequently, a notice was issued to Kochi Medicals regarding discrepancies in the input tax credit claimed in their returns compared to the information available in GSTR-2A. The assessing authority disallowed the input tax credit to the extent of the mismatch, leading Kochi Medicals to file an appeal against the assessment order. However, the appeal was dismissed by the impugned order.

Legal Analysis of the case

The petitioner argued that the difficulties faced by dealers in understanding and correctly filing returns during the initial phase of GST implementation warranted consideration. The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs acknowledged these challenges and issued Circular No. 183/15/ 2022-GST on December 27, 2022, providing relaxation to dealers for the financial years 2017-18 and 2018-19. The circular outlined procedures to address discrepancies between GSTR-3B and GSTR-2A, emphasizing the importance of ensuring that legitimate input tax credit claims are not unfairly denied due to technical issues.

 

Court's Decision

Considering the petitioner's arguments and the provisions of Circular No. 183/15/ 2022-GST(I am attaching it below for your kind reference), the Kerala High Court set aside the impugned orders and remitted the matter back to the assessing authority. The court directed the authority to reconsider Kochi Medicals' case in light of the circular, ensuring that the petitioner is afforded an opportunity for a personal hearing before finalizing the fresh assessment on remand.

Implications of the Judgment

The Kerala High Court's decision underscores the importance of taking into account the challenges faced by taxpayers during the transition to GST. It recognizes the need for flexibility in addressing discrepancies in input tax credit claims, particularly in cases where technical issues or errors in filing returns are identified

By referring to Circular No. 183/15/ 2022-GST, the court emphasizes the significance of administrative guidelines issued by the tax authorities to provide relief to taxpayers and streamline the implementation of GST laws.

 

Conclusion

The Kochi Medicals v. State Tax Officer case highlights the complexities involved in GST compliance, especially in the initial years of its implementation

The judgment reflects a balanced approach by the Kerala High Court in addressing the challenges faced by taxpayers while ensuring compliance with GST laws. By remitting the matter back to the assessing authority in line with Circular No. 183/15/ 2022-GST, the court affirms the importance of administrative guidelines in resolving disputes related to input tax credit under GST, thereby promoting transparency and fairness in the taxation system.


Published by

CA Aman Rajput
(Chartered Accountant)
Category GST   Report

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