The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has issued an instruction to its commissioners for a special drive to dispose all the pending refund claims vide Instruction No. 10/2021 – Customs dated 13/05/2021. The drive is called as “Special Refund and Drawback Disposal Drive” which would be for the period from 15th of May 2021 to 31st May 2021. In terms of Section 54 of the Central Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017 r/w Rule 91 of Central Goods and Service Tax Rules 2017 refund needs to be granted within 60days of receipt of the application and 90% of the refund to be granted provisionally in case of export of goods or service within 7days from the date of the acknowledgement. The special drive to expiate the process. This drive is similar to that was done in April 2020. This instruction will help the quick disposal of the pending refund claim and would ease the cash crunch for the companies. Few FAQ on this instruction is as under:

1. What refunds are covered under this drive?

Ans. This is applicable to all pending GST refunds and Customs Duty Drawback claims

2. If I have not made a refund claim as on 15th of May 2021, will this instruction apply to me?

Ans. Instruction makes a reference to pending refund claims and not the refund claimed during the special drive period, however going by the intention of the instruction to ease the liquidity position due to COVID slowdown, the refund claims could also be entertained in this special drive.

3. Is this special driver restricted only to MSME?

Ans. No, this is extended all pending refund including the large companies, however special focus would be on MSME.

4. Will this instruction be binding on State GST officers?

Ans. No this instruction is binding only on Principle Chief Commissioner, Chief Commissioner & Commissioner of Customs/Customs (preventive)/Central Tax. A representation may be made either individually or through a trade association to the respective State Govt. for such similar special drive.

5. Can the refund be perused without full documentation?

Ans. No all documents required as per the statue is mandatory. One cannot take the advantage of this special drive to deviate from the statute.

6. Whether refund beyond the limitation period can be applied under this special drive?

Ans. No, the special drive is aimed at quick disposal of pending claims and not a window to regularise the defective refunds.

7. In my Sate there is lockdown. How can I take the advantage of this drive?

Ans. All communications can be done on official email, all documents required can be submitted electronically and hearings can be attended in Video Conferencing. If the information is available at your end, visit to Department may not be required.

8. Where will I get the e-mail id of the officers?

Ans. You may browse the respective GST website pertaining to your jurisdiction and

9. What are the action points for the taxpayer ?

Ans. Action points for the tax payer would be as under:

a. Check your records/consultants to see if there are any pending refund claims?

b. Follow-up with the concerned tax officer by an official e-mail with the complete details of the refund claim.

c. In case the deficiency memo is not being replied, the same may be replied during this period.

d. In case the refund was rejected with issuance of the deficiency memo, make fresh application making good the deficiency (if any).

e. In case the SCN is being issued and reply is not made, immediately submit the reply to SCN substantiating the refund claim.

10. What would be the remedy if there is no response on the follow-up made with the tax officer.

Ans. In case there is no response to the follow-up made, then the same may be escalated to jurisdictional Commissioner or Chief Commissioner as the case may be. If no response to the same then the escalation may be made to Deputy Secretary Customs and the CBIC Board.

(For any feedback or queries please mail to [email protected])

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June 2021