Introduction: In a significant ruling, the Punjab and Haryana High Court, in the case of Satyam Auto Components Ltd v. Union of India, allowed the Assessee to rectify Form GSTR-1 beyond the statutory limitation for the purpose of filing a refund application. This judgment carries implications for taxpayers facing technical errors in their GST filings.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court in the case of Satyam Auto Components Ltd v. Union of India [CWP No. 8019 of 2020 dated October 5, 2023] allowed the writ petition and permitted the Assessee to rectify Form GSTR-1 beyond the period of limitation, for the purpose of filing refund application.

Facts:

Satyam Auto Components Ltd. (“the Petitioner”) is engaged in the business of manufacturing auto parts. The Petitioner supplied goods to M/s Wabco India Ltd. (“the Recipient”), a SEZ unit for which payment of IGST was made on the said supply. The Petitioner filed GSTR-1 in the month of December 2017 and thereafter filed refund application in the month of April-May, 2019 as and when the invoices are approved by the Recipient. The Petitioner along with refund application, filed Statement-4 on the common portal. However, at the time of uploading statement-4, the following error occurred “Invoice mentioned is not a SEZ with payment of tax invoice”. The Petitioner, thereafter approached GST Help Desk and raised the complaint. The GST Help Desk resolving the issue stated through email that, the Petitioner entered the SEZ invoices in Table 6A (Export instead of Tables 4A, 4B, 4C, 6B, 6C-B2B. The Petitioner thereafter, tried to rectify the correct Form GSTR-1 but the Petitioner was not allowed to do so as the last date for revising Form GSTR-1 expired on March 31, 2019. Also, the Revenue Department (“the Respondent”) vide Circular dated December 31, 2018 (“the Circular”) clarified that, any correction of return pertaining to Assessment Year 2017-2018 could not be made after March 31, 2019. Therefore, the Petitioner could not correct Form GSTR-1 and make an application for refund.

Refund Application Limit

Aggrieved, the Petitioner filed a writ petition to direct the Respondent Authorities to allow the Petitioner to correct details of Form GSTR-1 for filing of refund application.

Issue:

Whether the Petitioner is permitted to rectify Form GSTR-1 beyond the period of limitation, for the purpose of filing refund application?

Held:

The Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court CWP No. 8019 of 2020 held as under:

  • Relied upon the judgement of Hon’ble Madras High Court in the case of M/s. Sun Dye Chem v. Assistant Commissioner (ST) and Anr. [W.P. No. 29676 of 2019 dated October 6, 2020], wherein the Hon’ble High Court after relying upon the provisions of Section 37 and Section 38 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (“the CGST Act”), allowed the writ petition by granting the permission in favour of the Assessee to resubmit the Form GSTR-3B with correct distribution of credit between IGST, SGST and CGST.
  • Further relied upon the judgement of Hon’ble Orissa High Court in the case of M/s Shiva Jyoti Construction v. The Chairperson, Central Board of Central Excise and Customs and Others [W.P. (C) No. 18216 of 2017 dated January 1, 2023] wherein the Hon’ble High Court permitted the Petitioner to file correct Form GSTR-1 which were to be received manually. Also, the Revenue Department is required to facilitate the uploading of details in the web portal.
  • Noted that, on technical grounds, the Petitioner application for correction of Form GSTR-1 has been dismissed, by the Respondent. Also, the time of revising Form GSTR-1 expired on March 31, 2019 for which the Petitioner further approached GST Help Desk .
  • Opined that, the Petitioner without making correction in Form GSTR-1, the Petitioner could not get refund under the CGST Act.
  • Held that, the Petitioner is permitted to re-submit corrected Form GSTR-1. The Respondent can receive the application manually and thereafter, upload the details on web portal. Hence, the writ petition is allowed.

Conclusion: The Punjab and Haryana High Court’s decision in the Satyam Auto Components case brings relief to taxpayers facing technical barriers in correcting GST filings. By allowing the Assessee to rectify Form GSTR-1 beyond the limitation period, the Court ensures that genuine refund claims are not denied due to technicalities. This ruling emphasizes the importance of a fair and flexible approach in addressing technical errors, promoting the overall efficiency and fairness of the GST system. Taxpayers should stay informed about such legal precedents to navigate challenges effectively.

(Author can be reached at info@a2ztaxcorp.com)

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