New Delhi, November 30, 2017

The government on Wednesday said the exporters claim for integrated goods and services tax (IGST) refund amounted to Rs 6,500 crore for the July-October period, and said that the delay in disbursing refunds was primarily due to errors in the tax returns filed by them.

It urged the exporters to fill in correct details while filing summary return GSTR-3B and rectify wrong information through jurisdictional customs authority. The IGST refund claim filed by exporters for July-October period amount to Rs 6,500 crore and the quantum of refund of unutilised input tax credit (ITC) stood at Rs 30 crore, the government said in a statement. To ease the liquidity crunch faced by exporters by expediting refunds, the GST Council had earlier relaxed norms for claiming refund for exporters by allowing such claims on the basis of summary return and not wait for comprehensive returns (GSTR-1,2,3) to be filed.

Due to glitches face by the IT backbone of GST, many taxpayers had faced difficulty in filing comprehensive returns. “It has been observed that certain common errors such as incorrect Shipping Bill number in GSTR-1, mismatch of invoice number and IGST amount paid, wrong bank account etc. are being committed by exporters while filing their returns. These errors are the sole reason for delay in grant of refunds, or rejection thereof,” the government said. Further, the government said that refund claims for exports made in July have been sanctioned, and refund claims of IGST paid for exports made in August, September and October are being sanctioned seamlessly wherever returns have been accurately filed.

As the Customs System is designed to automatically grant refunds without involvement of any officer by matching information that is furnished on GSTN portal and customs system, the onus is on the exporters to fill in all the details accurately, the government said. “Exporters may, therefore, take due precaution to ensure that no errors creep in while filing Table 6A of GSTR 1 of August 2017 and onwards. The facility for filing GSTR 1 for August 2017 would also be ready by December 2017,” the government said. “Issuance of such circulars to expedite refunds and procedural relaxation is an exciting step by the Government, however on ground the experiences are that everything is an after-thought on such procedures and therefore the reactions are positive as well as negative. However, one must appreciate the process and wherewithal to get such announcements out,” Suresh Nandlal Rohira, partner, Grant Thornton said.

[The Financial Express]