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10 May2023
  • By Authored by CA Rahul Pareva
  • Category Goods and Service Tax
  • Views 288
Are you an exporter looking to stay competitive in the global market?

With the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India since July 2017, navigating the export landscape has become more complex.

How can you ensure that your business meets all necessary compliance requirements, including laws and regulations, tax and duty payments, and quality and safety standards?

For those opting for the Letter of Undertaking (LUT) scheme, the GST refund process may seem daunting.

Therefore, this article offers valuable insights into the potential challenges and pitfalls during the GST refund process and highlights reasons why the tax department might not process Input Tax Credit (ITC) refund applications.

Get ready to discover key strategies for streamlining your GST refund experience and ensuring a successful outcome!

Reasons Why Applications May Not Process

Let's explore some of the common reasons why applications for refunds of ITC do not get processed in the tax department.

1. Discrepancies in GST Returns for the Relevant Period

One of the common reasons why GST return applications for exports may not be processed in the department is due to a failure to reconcile GST returns for the concerned period.

* GSTR-1 with GSTR-3B: Reconciling GSTR-1 with GSTR-3B is important. Failing to do so can result in a show-cause notice from the GST authorities and create difficulties in processing of GST refund applications. Therefore, it is crucial for exporters to perform reconciliation from time to time to avoid any discrepancies.

* GSTR-2A with GSTR-3B: Another crucial step in the GST return process for exports is the reconciliation of ITC claimed in GSTR-3B with one reflecting in GSTR-2A. This exercise enables businesses to claim the full Input Tax Credit (ITC) and rectify any excess ITC claimed. By performing reconciliation before filing GSTR-3B, exporters can avoid any potential demand notices from the tax authorities, thereby making it an essential step to easy processing of refunds.

2. Mismatched Details in Shipping Bill and Invoice

It is crucial for exporters to ensure that the details in the shipping bill align with those in the invoice to avoid any issues with refunds. If there are discrepancies between the two, the refund may be withheld by the department.

Therefore, it is important for taxpayers to enter correct details such as Shipping Bill number, Shipping Bill date, Port Code, etc., and file them in their subsequent Form GSTR-1.

3. GST Officer's Field Visit

Business owners should not take a field visit by a GST officer lightly and should ensure that someone from the company is present at the premises during the visit.

The officer may ask for documents related to the business, such as sale invoices, purchase invoices, bank statements, and details of goods. Therefore, it is crucial for exporters to have proper documents readily available to show the officer during the visit.

The officer's primary objective is to verify that the business premises are actually functioning and in compliance with GST regulations. Being prepared with the necessary documents can help ensure a smooth and hassle-free field visit, making it easier to process refunds.

4. Ineligible ITC Claims on Capital Goods

It is important for exporters to note that capital goods are not eligible for ITC claims if exports are made through LUT, and their claim may be denied in the GST refund. Despite this, many exporters file GST return applications to claim refunds against ITC of these goods.

Therefore, it is essential for exporters to exclude these goods before filing their applications to avoid any issues with the processing of their refunds.

By excluding these goods, exporters can ensure that their claims for eligible goods are processed quickly and without any issues.

5. Inconsistent Monitoring of Refund Status

Exporters should regularly check the status of their refunds to ensure that the process is moving smoothly. In some cases, the tax department may issue deficiency memos or show cause notices against the refund application if they find any discrepancies or issues.

Therefore, it is crucial for exporters to monitor the status of their refunds regularly and address any issues promptly to avoid any potential delays or complications in the process.

By staying on top of their refund status, exporters can ensure that they receive their refunds in a timely and hassle-free manner.

6. Unclaimable ITC Due to Vendor's Cancelled GSTIN

Exporters must be aware that if the tax department cancels a vendor's GSTIN, the exporter cannot claim ITC on purchases made from that vendor. Therefore, it is essential for exporters to identify such vendors and avoid claiming ITC credit for their purchases.

This is because the tax department will not provide a credit or refund for purchases made from vendors with cancelled GSTINs.

By being proactive in identifying such vendors and avoiding ITC claims, exporters can ensure that their GST refund applications are processed quickly and without any issues.

7. Late Filing of GST Refund Applications

Exporters should be aware that there is a time limit for filing GST refund applications. The relevant date for determining the time limit is the date on which the taxpayer exports the goods or delivers the services.

The application for a refund must be filed within two years from the relevant date. Exporters who miss the deadline to file their refund applications risk having their applications rejected by the tax department.

Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that the refund application is filed within the designated time frame to avoid any delays or rejections.

8. BRC/FIRC Amount Discrepancies or their non-avalability

Exporters must ensure that they obtain the Bank Realization Certificate (BRC) and Foreign Inward Remittance Certificate (FIRC) for the full value of the exported goods or services.

These certificates serve as proof of payment for the goods or services exported and are essential for claiming the GST refund.

Therefore, it is important to ensure that the BRC and FIRC received from the bank match the invoice amount and payment received. In case of any discrepancies, the exporter must take corrective action with the bank and obtain the correct certificates before filing the refund application.

This will ensure that the tax department does not reject the refund application due to missing or incorrect BRC/FIRC.

9. Inaccurate HSN Codes on Invoices and Annexure B

Correct invoicing is crucial for claiming GST refunds, and the HSN code on the invoice must match with Annexure B. Any discrepancies or mismatches can result in the rejection of the GST refund application.

Therefore, it is important to ensure that the HSN code mentioned in the invoice is accurately reflected in Annexure B, which is a statement of inward supplies filed by registered taxpayers. This can help avoid any unnecessary delays or rejections in the GST refund process.

10. Ineffective Coordination with GST Officer

When it comes to GST refunds, a lack of coordination with the GST officer can cause delays or even rejections.

While the process of filing for a refund is primarily online, the process of verifying and approving the refund is often manual and requires coordination with the GST officer.

This means that if there is a lack of coordination between the taxpayer and the officer, it can lead to misunderstandings and delays in the refund process.

It is important for taxpayers to communicate clearly and provide all necessary information to the officer in a timely manner so that the officer can process the refund application efficiently.

11. Unfiled GST Returns for the Relevant Period

In order to claim a GST refund for a particular period, it is mandatory to file the GST returns for that period. If the returns are not filed, refund application could not be filed and obviously there will be delays and in GST refund.

It is crucial for exporters to be aware of the filing deadlines and ensure the timely submission of returns to avoid delays in receiving refunds. Additionally, proper documentation and accurate information are key factors in facilitating a smooth refund process.

12. Non-compliance with Circular 125

Circular 125, issued by the GST authorities, provides guidelines and clarifications on the GST refund process. It is important to comply with the circular while filing the GST refund application, as it specifies the necessary documents and information that need to be submitted.

Non-compliance with the circular may lead to the rejection of the refund application. Therefore, businesses should carefully review the circular and ensure that all the requirements are met before filing the GST refund application.

13. Inappropriate Shipping Methods

Proper shipping of goods is crucial for successful exports. It is important to ensure that the goods are shipped thorough proper channel under custom authorities. It is not advisable to ship through private courier companies. These modes do not qualify for taking GST refunds from the department.

Final Thoughts

Navigating the GST refund process for exports can be complex due to various compliance requirements and potential issues.

Some common reasons for unprocessed refund applications include unreconciled GST returns, discrepancies in shipping bills and invoices, ineligible ITC claims, and lack of coordination with the GST officer.

To ensure a smooth refund process, it's crucial to maintain accurate documentation, regularly check refund status, adhere to compliance guidelines, and maintain open communication with the GST officer.

For professional assistance in managing your GST refund process, don't hesitate to reach out to a qualified expert who can guide you through the intricacies and ensure timely and hassle-free refunds.

Streamline your GST refund process and ensure successful outcomes. Contact our experts today at

The information given in this article is for general guidance to the readers. This information should not be sought as a substitute for legal opinion.

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