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The government has allowed exporters to manually file before tax officers claims for GST refunds as it looks to fast-track clearance of dues to ease liquidity stress faced by them.
Now exporters of services who paid IGST and those making zero-rated supplies to SEZ units as well as those merchant exporters who want to claim refunds for input credit can approach their jurisdictional commissioner with their refund form.
"Due to the non-availability of the refund module on the common portal, it has been decided by the competent authority ... that the applications/documents/forms pertaining to refund claims on account of zero-rated supplies shall be filed and processed manually till further orders," the CBEC said in a circular.
Now businesses making zero-rated supplies or those who have paid IGST on exports or want to claim input credit will have to fill Form RFD-01A and print and approach Chief Commissioner of Central Tax and the Commissioner of State Tax for refund claim.
The provisional refund would be sanctioned by the tax officer within 7 days.
EY India Tax Partner Abhishek Jain said till now the refund filing procedure was there only for IGST paid by exporters.
"Since the online system was not there for exports of services and supplies to SEZ and those exporters claiming credit for input credit, the manual system has been launched. Starting with the refund process is a good thing, but it remains to be seen in how many days the exporters actually get the refund credited in their bank accounts," Jain added.
"Cash flows for exporters have been impacted due to lack of refunds of input taxes. The circular on manual filing would need to be followed through with speedy processing of refund claims and disbursal of refunds to address the cash flow issue faced by exporters," Deloitte Haskins and Sells LLP Senior Director Saloni Roy said.