New Delhi: Businesses and merchants can look forward to more assistance from tax officials in securing tax refunds with the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) announcing another refund drive starting the middle of this month.
Goods and service tax (GST) refund has been a concern for the government and the trade for the past several months and the latest refund drive, the third since March, is meant to reduce the pendency of refunds, according to a statement from CBIC.
The first two refund drives have resulted in businesses and traders getting ₹ 10,352 crore of integrated GST (IGST) refunds and ₹ 2,684 crore of input tax credits, it said. The third refund fortnight from 16 July to 30 July, launched close on the heels of the one held in the first fortnight of June, indicates that the tax administration is keen to address all taxpayer grievances within a short span of time and improve the ease of doing business.
The NDA government, which is in its fifth year in office, is taking steps to make an improvement on this front after the GST rollout a year ago faced several glitches in the initial months, following which some of the key self-policing features such as invoice matching were suspended. CBIC has already disposed of more than 90% of claims with regard to IGST refunds for goods exported out of India, according to the statement. Taxes that go into production of goods that are exported are refunded to keep exports competitive in world markets.
Dedicated refund cells and help desks would be established in each commissionerate to help exporters to get their refund claims processed, it said.
“Exporters and export organizations are requested to take benefit of this opportunity to get their pending refund claims processed," CBIC said.
Experts said the tax administration has been quick in tackling difficulties faced by businesses. “The government has been receptive to the hurdles faced by taxpayers and has been proactive in resolving issues. Although there still are some nagging problems in the tax ecosystem, most of the issues have been streamlined," said Bipin Sapra, a partner at consulting firm EY.
The central government is now preparing for a set of amendments to GST laws in the monsoon session of Parliament starting 18 July that will facilitate a single tax return, modify the composition scheme under which small traders can pay tax based on their revenue and eliminate ambiguities in legal provisions. The changes are aimed at reducing the compliance burden.