NEW DELHI: The Government has streamlined the issuance of goods and services tax (GST) refund to exporters, by a single authority. These would, however, still be issued by the Centre for its part of the GST and States for their portion. This arrangement would also be streamlined soon, said Hasmukh Adhia, Finance Secretary.
The GST Council had earlier decided that Central Officers will have 10 per cent of assessees and the States the other 90 per cent for taxpayers with annual turnover up to Rs 1.5 crore.
Over this threshold, assessees would be divided equally between the Centre and States. On that basis, the Centre and 20 States have worked out their jurisdictions, also covering refund issue to exporters.
Adhia added that delay in refunds arose because some exporters were not filing accurate data in their returns. He says they’re filing for more claims than the taxes they paid, leading to a mismatch. A little over 10,000 assessees had given their returns for input tax credit since the launch a fortnight earlier.
The Government, contended, had been very sensitive on exporter concerns. A package had been approved by the GST Council to resolve the problem of blocked working capital.
Input tax credit and Integrated GST refunds for exporters are being expedited. He explained in detail the process and procedure for refund of exporter claims.
A Central Board of Excise and Customs official disputed the charge that Rs 50,000 crore of exporters’ GST refunds were stuck. Every paisa would be refunded, he said.
GST, said Adhia, who’s also Revenue Secretary, is appreciated by one and all as a game changer. This also means that those gaming the system by evading taxes will have to change.
Referring to the earlier system, Adhia said exporters had to wait for long to get refunds of State-level value added tax. In some States, this could take two years. Some of the levies, such as octroi in Maharashta, were not refundable, he said, to claim his point that GST was much friendlier to exporters than the earlier system. The present problems was teething trouble; exporters would benefit in the long term, he added.