Finance ministry asks exporters to file GSTR 3B to claim tax refunds

The finance ministry has advised exporters to file GSTR-3B and Table 6A for processing of IGST refund as also for refund of the unutilised portion of input tax credit.

A finance ministry release stated that while the government is seized of the issue of delay in the grant of refunds pertaining Integrated Goods and Service (IGST) paid on goods exported out of India and Input Tax credit (ITC) on exports, errors made by exporters while filing returns have made refund calculations difficult.

The government has taken various measures to alleviate difficulty and is fully committed to provide speedy disbursal of refunds due to exporters, says a finance ministry statement.

The ministry said it has taken note of media reports that incorrect estimations of refund amounts are holding up refunds for the period July to October 2017.

The finance ministry has now clarified that the quantum of IGST refund claims as filed through shipping bills during the period July-October 2017 is approximately Rs6,500 crore and the quantum of refund of unutilised credit on inputs or input services, as per the RFD 01A applications filed on GSTN portal, is to the tune of Rs30 crore.

With regard to IGST paid on goods exported out of India, a majority of refund claims for exports made in July 2017, wherever due, have been sanctioned. Refund claims of IGST paid for exports made in August, September and October 2017 are being sanctioned seamlessly wherever returns have been accurately filed, the ministry said.

''The prerequisites for sanction of refund of IGST paid are filing of GSTR 3B and table 6A of GSTR-1 on the GSTN portal and shipping bills on Customs EDI System by the exporter. It is essential that exporters should ensure that there is no discrepancy in the information furnished in Table 6A of GSTR-1 and the shipping bill.''

However, the ministry noted that certain common errors such as incorrect shipping bill number in GSTR-1, mismatch of invoice number and IGST amount paid, wrong bank account, etc, are being committed by exporters while filing their returns. These errors are the sole reason for delay in grant of refunds, or rejection thereof.

While information has been made available to exporters on the ICEGATE portal if they are registered, they may also contact jurisdictional customs authorities to check the errors they have committed in furnishing information in GST returns and shipping bill, and rectify them at the earliest.

As the Customs System is designed to automatically grant refunds without involvement of any officer by matching information that is furnished on GSTN portal and Customs system, the onus is on the exporters to fill in all the details accurately. Exporters may, therefore, take due precaution to ensure that no errors creep in while filing Table 6A of GSTR-1 of August 2017 and onwards. The facility for filing GSTR- 1 for August 2017 would also be ready by 4 December 2017. In case of wrong entries made in July, Table 9 of GSTR-1 of August would allow amendments to GSTR-1 of July 2017, the statement added.

For refund of the unutilised Input Tax Credit on inputs or input services used in making exports, the ministry has asked exporters to file an application in FORM GST RFD- 01A on the common portal where the amount claimed as refund shall get debited from the electronic credit ledger of the exporter to the extent of the claim. Thereafter, a proof of debit (ARN- Acknowledgement Receipt Number) shall be generated on the GSTN portal, which is to be mentioned on the print-out of the FORM GST RFD-01A and to be submitted manually to the jurisdictional officer.

Exporters have been asked to ensure that all the necessary documentary evidences are submitted along with the Form GST RFD 01A for timely sanction of refund.