CBIC clarifications that processing of GST refund should not be held up and processed by authority where the application has been wrongly allocated by the system.
The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (‘CBIC’) vide Circular No. 104/23/2019-GST dated 28 June 2019 has clarified the authority who is required to process the GST refund applications of taxpayers in cases of incorrect mapping.
The division of taxpayer base between the Centre and States to ensure a Single Interface under GST is critical to ensure the smooth and seamless flow of business operations.
- The GST refund applications filed by taxpayers have been assigned to a different GST officer in the GSTN portal for processing as compared to the jurisdictional GST officer.
- These instances have been the result of non-updation of relevant data by Central as well as State GST authorities on the GST portal as per the guidelines issued by the GST Council Secretariat, vide Circular No. 01/2017 dated 20 September 2017.
- In this regard para the CBIC vide Circular No. 79/53/2018-GST dated 31 December 2018 has clarified that the State GST authorities should electronically re-assign the refund having mismatch of jurisdictional officers the concerned GST officer.
- However, there have been questions on the concerned GST officer who would be processing the refund application as the re-assignment facility is not yet available on the GST portal.
2. Clarification by CBIC
In the interest of justice and grant of timely refund to taxpayers, the CBIC has clarified the following in the case where reassignment of GST refund applications to the correct jurisdictional GST officer is not possible on the GST portal:
- Processing of the refund claim should not be held up
- GST refund application should be processed by the GST officer to whom the application has been electronically transferred.
- After processing the GST refund application, the GST office processing the refund may inform the GST portal about the incorrect mapping with a request to update it suitably on the common portal.
- This would ensure that all subsequent refund applications are transferred to the correct jurisdictional GST officer.
This Circular is a welcome move as the administrative hurdles in the processing of GST refund applications have caused severe inconvenience to taxpayers. Those taxpayers whose refund applications have been caught in the administrative hurdles of incorrect mapping in the GST portal should take the benefit of this Circular and pursue the early disposal of the GST refund applications with the GST officer to whom the applications have been mapped.