1. What is the Electronic Cash Ledger?

The Electronic Cash Ledger contains a summary of all the payments made by a taxpayer. In the ledger, information is displayed major head-wise i.e., IGST, CGST, SGST, and CESS. Each major head is further divided into five minor heads: Tax, Interest, Penalty, Fee, and Others. It can be accessed under in the post-login mode on the GST portal under Services > Ledgers > Electronic Cash Ledger.

Electronic Cash Ledger in an account is maintained to keep a record of cash receipts and payments. The Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) and Tax Collected at Source (TCS) are also accounted for in the Electronic Cash Ledger as cash receipts.

A registered taxpayer can make cash receipts to the Electronic Cash Ledger using any of the Online or Offline modes permitted by the GST Portal. Cash receipts can be used for making payment(s) like tax liability, interest, penalties, fee, and others.

The Electronic Cash Ledger has four Major Heads IGST, CGST, SGST, and CESS. Each of these Major Heads have the five following Minor Heads:

  1. Tax
  2. Interest
  3. Penalty
  4. Fee
  5. Others

When a taxpayer creates a Challan, the taxpayer chooses the amounts to be added to each Minor Head within Each Major Head. Once the payment against the Challan is made successfully, the Electronic Cash Ledger gets updated with the funds under the Major and Minor Heads respectively as per the Challan. Cross utilization of funds is NOT possible once payment is made.

Let us understand this better with an example. A taxpayer made a cash receipt of INR 1000 to IGST – Tax in the Electronic Cash Ledger. The tax payer can utilise this cash receipt of INR 1000 to make payment ONLY to the IGST – Tax liability.

2. Where is the Electronic Cash Ledger maintained?

Cash Ledger is maintained on the Web-portal of GST System.

3. How can a taxpayer view their Electronic Cash Ledger?

A taxpayer can view their Electronic Cash Ledger by logging on to the GST website.

4. Can anyone else view my Electronic Cash Ledger?

No, Electronic Cash Ledger can only be viewed by the taxpayers themselves or by their Jurisdictional Officer (JO).

5. How can a taxpayer view details of transactions in the Electronic Cash Ledger for a specific period?

To view the details of the transactions, the taxpayer can view the Detailed or Summary views of the Electronic Cash Ledger for the required duration. The option is available by default on the landing page of the Summary and Detailed View options of the Electronic Cash Ledger respectively. A maximum of 6 months can be viewed at a time.

6. How can the cash available in the Electronic Cash Ledger be utilised?

The amount available in the Electronic Cash Ledger can be utilised for payment of any liability for the respective major and minor heads. For example, liability for the tax under SGST can be utilised from the available amount of cash available under SGST only.

7. Can a taxpayer utilise the amount available in any minor head of a major head for any other minor head of the same major head?

No. The amount available in one minor head cannot be utilised for any other minor head of even the same major head. For example, an amount of INR 1000 is available under minor head ‘tax’ of major head ‘SGST’ and the taxpayer has a liability of INR 200 for minor head ‘interest’ under the same major head ‘SGST’. Since, there is no amount available under minor head ‘interest’ under major head “SGST”, therefore, interest payment cannot be made from the amount available under ‘tax’ of the same major head.

8. Is transfer of funds between the major heads permissible for discharging liabilities?

Amount available under one major head (SGST, CGST, IGST or CESS) cannot be utilised for discharging the liability under any other major head. For example, amount available in SGST cannot be utilised for discharging liabilities under CGST, IGST, or CESS and vice versa.

9. Would the amount deposited inadvertently in the Electronic Cash Ledger remain there?

Yes, any additional amount deposited inadvertently will remain in the Electronic Cash Ledger and can be used to discharge liabilities in subsequent tax periods.

Alternatively, the excess amount deposited in the Electronic Cash Ledger can be claimed as refund by selecting the relevant option while filing the periodic return.

10. How can a taxpayer check the available balance in the Electronic Cash Ledger?

A taxpayer can log on to the GST portal and then select the ‘Balance’ option to check the available balance in the Electronic Cash Ledger.

11. Can the amount available in cash ledger be deemed as payment for any liability?

No, unless the taxpayer makes a debit entry from a cash ledger for a specific liability, the amount lying in the cash ledger cannot be assigned to any liability.

12. Can a Departmental Officer debit my cash ledger in lieu of outstanding dues?

Yes, in exceptional circumstances, especially when the amount of additional demand is not stayed by the Appellate Authority, Tribunal, or Court, the amount can be debited from your Electronic Cash Ledger to the extent of the demand.

13. Is it necessary to claim refund of the excess amount available in the Electronic Cash Ledger?

No, the amount may continue to remain in the cash ledger and can be utilised for any future liability.

14. Do the funds in the Electronic Cash Ledger include my Input Tax Credits (ITC)?

No, all your ITC is available in the Electronic Credit Ledger.

15. Do the funds in the Electronic Cash Ledger include my TDS and TCS Credits? If yes, can I use them to discharge my tax liabilities?

Yes, all your TDS & TCS credits, once accepted by you, will reflect in your Electronic Cash Ledger and yes, you can use the credits to discharge respective tax liabilities.

Application for Refund of Excess Amount from the Electronic Cash Ledger

1. How can I claim refund of excess amount available in cash ledger?

1. Balance in the cash ledger should be sufficient

2. File RFD- 01 A and select the reason of Refund as ‘Refund on account of excess balance in cash ledger’.

3. Mention the amount of refund to be claimed in RFD- 01A and submit the form.

4. Once Application Reference Number (ARN) is generated, take a print of ARN and submit to the Jurisdictional Authority manually.

2. What is the amount limit for claim of refund in case of “Refund of excess amount from the cash ledger”?

In case of FORM GST RFD-01A, there is no restriction on claiming refund amount from Cash Ledger. However, law specifies that the refund of excess amount in Cash Ledger can be permitted only if amount is greater than Rs. 1000/.


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January 2021