The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has launched a special drive to clear all pending GST refunds by month-end. The 15-day Goods and Services Tax (GST) refund drive is on the lines of an ongoing similar drive organised by the CBIC for refund of customs and duty drawback claims.
In an instruction to all Principal Commissioners of Central Tax formations, the CBIC said there is a need to focus on timely disposal of all pending GST refund claims in order to provide immediate relief to business entities, especially MSMEs, in the difficult times of second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is hereby instructed that a ‘Special GST Refund Disposal Drive’ will be launched by all Central Tax formations during the period from 15th May 2021 to 31st May 2021 for processing and disposal of all pending GST refund claims on priority,” it said.
The CBIC further said that the GST law provides 15 days for issuing acknowledgement or deficiency memo and total 60 days for disposing of refund claims without any liability to pay interest.
“It is, however, expected that all Central Tax formations will take up all the pending GST refund claims for processing on priority and endeavour to dispose them of much earlier than the statutory time limits, preferably before a period of 30 days from the date of receipt of the refund application,” the CBIC added.
It is expected that during this special drive, all GST refund claims, pending as on May 14, shall be disposed of by May 31, 2021.
The tax officers will coordinate with the major trade and industry associations (especially those that cater to exporters and MSMEs) for the assistance and handholding of taxpayers, including for submission of required documents/ reply by the taxpayers (if a claim is pending for want of a required document/ reply to notice, etc).
The CBIC also asked taxmen to ensure that communication with taxpayers is done through the GST portal, or if need be, through email using the official email ID of the officer.
All communication with taxpayers must be done through the GST portal, or if need be, through email using the official email ID of the officer.
The Special Refund Disposal Drive should be widely publicised among the trade and industry.
“It is urged that in these difficult times, all central tax officers should endeavour to make their best efforts and contribution in the fight against COVID-19, by liquidating the pending GST refund claims by May 31, 2021,” the CBIC added.