Refund of GST tax on deposit under investigation


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Refund of GST tax on deposit under investigation



Presently the Central Law (State Laws do not have similar provision) does not debar suo-motto payments during investigation / audit without issuance of a formal show cause notice / demand. If the GST Law does not debar such payments during investigation / audit process and ultimately no / less demand arises vis-à-vis amount already paid, then refund of such amount may be handled as per the procedure given below:


i) A separate mechanism for the accounting of such payments has to be designed.


ii) Refund in such cases requires utmost attention as such amount of tax paid during investigation, etc. become non leviable once the investigation is finalized and / or an adjudication order in favor of the taxpayer is issued. Therefore this process should be simple and hassle free.


iii) As soon as the investigation, etc. is over which does not lead to issuance of a show cause notice or where after investigation, show cause notice is issued but the adjudication order is in favor of the taxpayer i.e. where the demand of duty is dropped in full or in part, the taxpayer should be immediately eligible to claim refund of the amount that is found to have been paid in excess during investigation, etc.


iv) Looking at the policy objective of making the refund process hassle free, it is recommended that the taxpayer may file a simple refund application along with a Chartered Accountant’s Certificate certifying the fact of non-passing of the GST burden by him, being claimed as refund. GST Law Drafting Committee may prescribe a threshold amount below which self certification (instead of CA Certificate) would be sufficient.


v) However, as every adjudication order can potentially be appealed against, the model GST Law may provide for a time limit after which only the refund can be sanctioned either by cash or by adjustment order at the option of the tax payer by the jurisdictional officers. This time limit should be concurrent with the time limit available for filing of an appeal so that department has time to file an appeal along with stay application, if any against adjudication order.


vi) Refund may be withheld only if the department has obtained a stay order on the operation of the adjudication order, failing which, refund has to be allowed.


vii) The GST Law Drafting Committee may also consider for providing powers to jurisdictional authority at sufficiently senior level for withholding the refund in exceptional cases on the condition that interest at appropriate rate has to be paid.


viii) The refund may be on account of CGST, SGST or IGST as the case may be.



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