Introduction: In a recent judgment, the Delhi High Court has intervened in a matter between ASES Security Pvt Ltd and the Commissioner of Trade and Taxes. The petitioner sought a directive to process a refund of Rs. 8,35,184/-, claimed under the Delhi Value Added Tax (VAT) Act. The court’s decision holds significance in ensuring timely and rightful refunds for businesses navigating the complexities of tax assessments.
Detailed Analysis: ASES Security Pvt Ltd filed a return for the fourth quarter of 2012-13, claiming a refund of Rs. 8,35,184/- under the Delhi VAT Act. However, an assessment order by the Value Added Tax Officer resulted in a demand of Rs. 2,86,784/-. The petitioner raised objections to this assessment, leading to an order by the Objection Hearing Authority. The Appellate Tribunal, on October 6, 2021, set aside the order of the Objection Hearing Authority.
Despite attempts to file Form DVAT-21 for the refund, a technical error hindered the process. The petitioner highlighted that, while the refund for the tax period had been filed by the respondents and no demand appeared in the portal, the actual refund for the specified quarter had not been processed.
Upon the petitioner’s move to the Delhi High Court, the court issued notice, which was accepted by the learned counsel for the respondents. The counsel acknowledged a technical error that prevented the processing of the refund and assured the court that the refund would be processed within two weeks from the date of the hearing.
Conclusion: The Delhi High Court, considering the submissions and assurance from the respondents, disposed of the petition by directing the authorities to process the refund of Rs. 8,35,184/- within a period of two weeks. Additionally, the respondents were instructed to grant admissible interest to the petitioner in accordance with the law.
This judgment underscores the importance of a responsive and efficient tax refund system. It reinforces the principle that businesses are entitled to timely refunds for legitimate claims, and any procedural errors hindering this process must be promptly addressed. The court’s directive aligns with the broader objective of promoting ease of doing business and ensuring a fair and transparent tax administration.
FULL TEXT OF THE JUDGMENT/ORDER OF DELHI HIGH COURT
1. Petitioner seeks a direction to the respondents to refund an amount of Rs.8,35,184/- allegedly due to the petitioner along with interest thereon.
2. Petitioner filed a return for the fourth quarter of 2012-13 on 26.04.2013 and claimed a refund of Rs.8,35,184/- under the Delhi Value Added Tax Act.
3. An assessment order was passed by the Value Added Tax Officer creating a demand of 2,86,784/- and therefrom an adjustment was made. Petitioner objected to the said assessment order, leading to an order being passed by Objection Hearing Authority. The order passed by the Objection Hearing Authority was set aside by the Appellate Tribunal on 06.10.2021. Thereafter, petitioner tried to file Form DVAT-21, however, on account of a technical error, the same was not accepted. As per the petitioner, the refund for the tax period already paid has already been filed by the respondents and no demand appears in the portal, however, refund has not yet been processed for the said quarter.
4. Issue notice. Notice is accepted by learned counsel appearing for respondents, who submits that on account of an error, the same could not be processed and assures that the refund shall be processed within a period of two weeks from today. The statement is taken on record.
5. In view of the above, petition is disposed of, directing the respondents to process the refund within a period of two weeks. Respondents shall also grant to the petitioner admissible interest in accordance with law.