GST refund drive: The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) on Saturday launched a tax refund drive or GST refund drive to ease the liquidity problems of businesses. The drive comes at a time movement restrictions in many parts of the country have disrupted business.
CBIC said in an instruction to field officers that the ‘special GST refund disposal drive’ will run from 15 May till 31 May “for processing and disposal of all pending GST refund claims on priority.”
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.
According to the GST law, the tax department has to dispose of refund claims within a total of 60 days without any liability to pay interest. Therefore, the department is now looking to clear all GST refund claims on a priority basis.
However, the CBIC’s instruction noted that officers should strive to settle claims as soon as possible to meet the statutory deadlines. The department also said that it will try to dispose of the claim preferably within 30 days after receiving the refund application.
Senior field officials have been asked to oversee the refund processing performance daily to improve the settlement speed, while urging its workers to work hand in hand with industry bodies working in the interest of exporters and small businesses.
“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 acknowledgment or deficiency memo and total 60 days for disposing of refund claims without any liability to pay interest.
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.