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May 17, 2021

Technical glitches in GSTN software is not a reason for Denial of ITC refund

by Mahesh Mara in GST, Legal Court Judgement

Technical glitches in GSTN software is not a reason for Denial of ITC refund

What is Rule 92 of the CGST Rules 2017?

Rule 92 of the CGST rules, 2017 deals with Order sanctioning refund. Where, upon examination of the application, the proper officer is satisfied that a refund under sub-section (5) of section 54 is due and payable to the applicant, he shall make an order in FORM GST RFD-06 sanctioning the amount of refund to which the applicant is entitled, mentioning therein the amount, if any, refunded to him on a provisional basis under sub-section (6) of section 54, amount adjusted against any outstanding demand under the Act or under any existing law and the balance amount refundable.

Provided that in cases where the amount of refund is completely adjusted against any outstanding demand under the Act or under any existing law, an order giving details of the adjustment shall be issued in Part A of FORM GST RFD-07.

Where, upon examination of the application of refund of any amount paid as tax other than the refund of tax paid on zero-rated supplies or deemed export, the proper officer is satisfied that a refund under sub-section (5) of section 54 of the Act is due and payable to the applicant, he shall make an order in FORM RFD-06 sanctioning the amount of refund to be paid, in cash, proportionate to the amount debited in cash against the total amount paid for discharging tax liability for the relevant period, mentioning therein the amount adjusted against any outstanding demand under the Act or under any existing law and the balance amount refundable and for the remaining amount which has been debited from the electronic credit ledger for making payment of such tax, the proper officer shall issue FORM GST PMT-03 re-crediting the said amount as Input Tax Credit in electronic credit ledger.

Where the proper officer or the Commissioner is of the opinion that the amount of refund is liable to be withheld under the provisions of sub-section (10) or, as the case may be, sub-section (11) of section 54, he shall pass an order in Part B of FORM GST RFD-07 informing him the reasons for withholding of such refund.

(3) Where the proper officer is satisfied, for reasons to be recorded in writing, that the whole or any part of the amount claimed as refund is not admissible or is not payable to the applicant, he shall issue a notice in FORM GST RFD-08 to the applicant, requiring him to furnish a reply in FORM GST RFD-09 within a period of fifteen days of the receipt of such notice and after considering the reply, make an order in FORM GST RFD-06 sanctioning the amount of refund in whole or part, or rejecting the said refund claim and the said order shall be made available to the applicant electronically and the provisions of sub-rule (1) shall, mutatis mutandis, apply to the extent refund is allowed:

Provided that no application for refund shall be rejected without giving the applicant an opportunity of being heard. Where the proper officer is satisfied that the amount refundable under sub-rule (1) or sub-rule (1A) or sub-rule (2) is payable to the applicant under sub-section (8) of section 54, he shall make an order in FORM GST RFD-06 and issue a payment order in FORM GST RFD-05 for the amount of refund and the same shall be electronically credited to any of the bank accounts of the applicant mentioned in his registration particulars and as specified in the application for refund on the basis of a consolidated payment advice.

Provided that the order issued in FORM GST RFD-06 shall not be required to be revalidated by the proper officer. Provided further that the payment order in FORM GST RFD-05 shall be required to be revalidated where the refund has not been disbursed within the same financial year in which the said payment order was issued.

The Central Government shall disburse the refund based on the consolidated payment advice issued under sub-rule (4). Where the proper officer is satisfied that the amount refundable under sub-rule (1) or sub-rule (1A) or sub-rule (2) is not payable to the applicant under sub-section (8) of section 54, he shall make an order in FORM GST RFD-06 and issue a payment order in FORM GST RFD-05, for the amount of refund to be credited to the Consumer Welfare Fund.

Fact and Issue of the case

The petitioner has registered himself with the third respondent and they are also filing monthly returns under the Goods and Service Tax Act. The petitioner’s case is that they had made zero rated sales during the months October 2017, November 2017 and February 2018(exports). According to the petitioner, they are therefore entitled to corresponding refund under all the three heads, namely, SGST, CGST and IGST. However, when the refund applications were uploaded, the entire claim got consolidated and figured under the head of SGST alone. While considering the refund applications, the second respondent restricted the refund claim to the extent of the petitioner’s liability for the respective months only under the head of SGST under Rule 92 of CGST Rules, 2017 and rejected the refund claims made in respect of the other heads. Questioning the same, these writ petitions came to be filed.

Observation of the High Court

The case has carefully considered the rival contentions and went through the materials on record. There is no doubt that the petitioner is an exporter and that he has made zero rated sales during the relevant months, namely, October 2017, November 2017 and February 2018. He was obviously entitled to refund for the month of October 2017 under SGST and under CGST for the month of November 2017, he was entitled to refund and for the month of February 2018, he was entitled to refund under the three heads, namely, IGST, SGST and CGST. In fact in the impugned order, it has been mentioned that supporting invoices furnished by the assessee are found to be in order. It is also mentioned in the impugned order that the documents furnished as proof of exports were verified and they are found to be in order.

Therefore, the only question is whether the petitioner’s claim for refund on CGST and IGST can be denied on the ground that his claim got consolidated under one head of SGST. The petitioner’s specific case is that due to error and new system of software in GST, the entire refund liability of ITC got auto populated under the head of SGST instead of CGST, SGST and IGST. This stand of the petitioner has been rejected by the respondents on the ground that the petitioner has not furnished any documentary proof in support of his claim.

When the petitioner has received show cause notice for the rejection of the refund application, the petitioner in his reply dated 24.01.2019 and 14.05.2019, had categorically stated that they filed refund application indicating that the entire refund claim got auto-populated under a single head, namely, SGST. If due to error on the part of any software in GSTN, this had occurred obviously, the petitioner cannot be expected to produce proof for the same. In any event, the petitioner had submitted the refund applications manually also. If the petitioner was otherwise eligible to refund, on the ground of technical glitches and error having occurred due to auto-population, the petitioner ought not to be denied relief. Nothing can be more unfair.

Therefore, the orders impugned in these writ petitions are set aside to the extent they reject the refund claim of the petitioner made under CGST and IGST. The matter is remitted to the file of the second respondent. The second respondent will verify if the petitioner is otherwise eligible for refund. If the second respondent is satisfied, refund will be made to the petitioner herein. This exercise shall be done within a period of eight weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.

Conclusion

The court ruled the petition in favour of the petitioner and directed that the second respondent will verify if the petitioner is otherwise eligible for refund. If the second respondent is satisfied, refund will be made to the petitioner herein. This exercise shall be done within a period of eight weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.

Read the full order from below

Technical-glitches-in-GSTN-software-is-not-a-reason-for-Denial-of-ITC-refund

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