GST refund claims for exporters for August, September to start this week


New Delhi: Exporters can soon start claiming refunds for goods and services tax (GST) paid in August and September as GST Network (GSTN) will this week launch an online application for processing of refund, its chief executive officer Prakash Kumar said Monday.

GSTN, the company handling IT infrastructure for the indirect tax regime, has from 10 October started issuing refunds to exporters for integrated GST (IGST) they paid for the month of July, after matching GSTR-3B and GSTR-1.

For August and September, while the initial return GSTR- 3B has already been filed, the final return GSTR-1 has not yet been filed. “A separate online app for claiming integrated GST (IGST) refunds for August and September would be made available on GSTN portal this week,” Kumar told PTI.

GSTN has developed the app wherein exporters can save and upload their sales data which are part of GSTR-1 after filling up export details in table 6A. The table will be then extracted separately and after exporters digitally sign it, it would automatically go to the customs department. The customs department will then validate the information provided in the table with the shipping bill data and also the taxes paid in GSTR-3B. The refund amount would be either credited to exporter’s bank account through ECS or a cheque would be issued.

As per data, 55.87 lakh GSTR-3B returns were filed for July, 51.37 lakh for August and over 42 lakh for September. Preliminary returns GSTR-3B for a month is filed on the 20th day of the next month after paying due taxes. Thereafter, final returns in form GSTR-1, 2, 3 are filed by businesses giving invoice wise details of sales.

The final return filing for August and September has not started yet. Over July-August, an estimated Rs67,000 crore has accumulated as IGST, of which only about Rs5,000-10,000 crore will be due as refunds to exporters. GST, the amalgamation of over a dozen indirect taxes like excise duty and value added tax (VAT), does not provide for any exemption, and so exporters are required to first pay IGST on manufactured goods and claim refunds after exporting them.

This had put severe liquidity crunch, particularly on aggregators or merchant exporters. To ease their problems, the GST Council earlier this month decided a package for them that includes extending the advance authorisation / export promotion capital goods (EPCG) / 100% export oriented unit (EOU) schemes to sourcing inputs from abroad as well as domestic suppliers till 31 March, thus not requiring to pay IGST.

The government is aiming to clear pending GST refunds of exporters by November-end. The first cheque after processing of July refunds was issued on 10 October.

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