38. Refund of tax
- Any person claiming refund of any tax and interest, if any, paid on such tax or any other amount paid by him, may make an application in that regard to the proper officer of IGST/CGST/SGST before the expiry of two years from the relevant date in such form and in such manner as may be prescribed:
Provided that the limitation of two years shall not apply where such tax or interest or the amount referred to above has been paid under protest.
- Subject to the provisions of sub-section (8), a taxable person may claim refund of any unutilized input tax credit at the end of any tax period:
Provided that no refund of unutilized input tax credit shall be allowed in cases other than exports or in cases where the credit has accumulated on account of rate of tax on inputs being higher than the rate of tax on outputs:
Provided further that no refund of unutilized input tax credit shall be allowed in cases where the goods exported out of India are subjected to export duty.
- The application shall be accompanied by—
- such documentary evidence as may be prescribed to establish that a refund is due to the applicant, and
- such documentary or other evidence (including the documents referred to in section 23A) as the applicant may furnish to establish that the amount of tax and interest, if any, paid on such tax or any other amount paid in relation to which such refund is claimed was collected from, or paid by, him and the incidence of such tax and interest had not been passed on by him to any other person:
Provided that where the amount claimed as refund is less than five lac rupees, it shall not be necessary for the applicant to furnish any documentary and other evidences and instead, he may file a declaration, based on the documentary or other evidences with him, certifying that the incidence of such tax and interest had not been passed on by him to any other person.
- If, on receipt of any such application, the proper officer is satisfied that the whole or part of the amount claimed as refund is refundable, he may make an order accordingly and the amount so determined shall be credited to the Fund.
- Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (4), the proper officer may, in the case of any claim for refund on account of export of goods and/or services made by such category of registered taxable persons as may be notified in this behalf, refund eighty percent of the total amount so claimed, excluding the amount of input tax credit provisionally accepted, on a provisional basis, in the manner and subject to such conditions, limitations and safeguards as may be prescribed and the remaining twenty percent may be refunded after due verification of documents furnished by the applicant.
- The proper officer shall issue the order under sub-section (4) within ninety days from the date of receipt of application.
Explanation – The “application” for the purpose of this sub-section shall mean complete application containing all information as may be prescribed.
- Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (4) or sub-section (4A), the refundable amount shall, instead of being credited to the Fund, be paid to the applicant, if such amount is relatable to –
(a) refund of tax on goods and/or services exported out of India or on inputs used in the goods and/or services which are exported out of India;
(b) refund of unutilized input tax credit under sub-section (2);
(c) the tax and interest, if any, or any other amount paid by the applicant, if he had not passed on the incidence of such tax and interest to any other person; or
(d) the tax or interest borne by such other class of applicants as the Central or a State Government may, on the recommendation of the Council, by notification, specify.
- Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any judgment, decree, order or direction of the Appellate Tribunal or any Court or in any other provision of this Act or the rules made thereunder or in any other law for the time being in force, no refund shall be made except as provided in sub-section (6).
- Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (2), where any refund is due under the said sub-section to a registered taxable person who has defaulted in furnishing any return or who is required to pay any tax, interest or penalty, which has not been stayed by any Court, Tribunal or Appellate Authority by the specified date, the proper officer may—
(a) withhold payment of refund due until the said person has submitted the return or paid the tax, interest or penalty, as the case may be;
(b) Deduct from the refund due, any tax, interest or penalty which the taxable person is liable to pay but which remains unpaid.
Explanation – For the purposes of this sub-section the expression “specified date” shall mean—
(a) the last date for filing an appeal under this Act, in a case where no appeal has been filed
(b) thirty days after the last date for filing an appeal under this Act, in a case where an appeal has been filed.
- Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (4) or sub-section (4A), where an order giving rise to a refund is the subject matter of an appeal or further proceeding or where any other proceeding under this Act is pending and the Commissioner / Board is of the opinion that grant of such refund is likely to adversely affect the revenue, he may, after giving the taxpayer an opportunity of being heard, withhold the refund till such time as he may determine.
- Where a refund is withheld under sub-section (9), the taxable person shall be entitled to interest as provided under section 39, if as a result of the appeal or further proceeding he becomes entitled to refund.
- Notwithstanding anything contained in this section, no refund under sub-section (4) or sub-section (4A) shall be paid to an applicant if the amount is less than rupees one thousand.
Explanation — for the purposes of this section –
(A) “refund” includes refund of tax on goods and/or services exported out of India or on inputs or input services used in the goods and/or services which are exported out of India, or refund of tax on the supply of goods regarded as deemed exports, or refund of unutilized input tax credit as provided under sub-section (2).
(B) “relevant date” means –
- in the case of goods exported out of India where a refund of tax paid is available in respect of the goods themselves or, as the case may be, the inputs or input services used in such goods, –
- if the goods are exported by sea or air, the date on which the ship or the aircraft in which such goods are loaded, leaves India, or
- if the goods are exported by land, the date on which such goods pass the frontier, or
- if the goods are exported by post, the date of dispatch of goods by Post Office concerned to a place outside India;
- in the case of supply of goods regarded as deemed exports where a refund of tax paid is available in respect of the goods, the date on which the return relating to such deemed exports is filed;
- in the case of goods returned for being remade, refined, reconditioned, or subjected to any other similar process in any place of business, the date of entry into the place of business for the purposes aforesaid;
- in the case of services exported out of India where a refund of tax paid is available in respect of services themselves or, as the case may be, the inputs or input services used in such services, the date of –
(i) receipt of payment in convertible foreign exchange, where the supply of service had been completed prior to the receipt of such payment; or
(ii) issue of invoice, where payment for the service had been received in advance prior to the date of issue of the invoice;
- in case where the tax becomes refundable as a consequence of judgment, decree, order or direction of Appellate Authority, Appellate Tribunal or any Court, the date of communication of such judgment, decree, order or direction;
- in the case of refund of unutilized input tax credit under sub-section (2), the end of the financial year in which such claim for refund arises; and
- in the case where tax is paid provisionally under this Act or the rules made thereunder, the date of adjustment of tax after the final assessment thereof.
39. Interest on delayed refunds
If any tax refundable under section 38 to any applicant is not refunded within three months from the date of receipt of application under sub-section (1) of that section, interest at such rate as may be specified in the notification issued by the Central or a State Government on the recommendation of the Council shall be payable in respect of such refund from the date immediately after the expiry of the due date for sanction of refund under section 38 till the date of refund of such tax.
Explanation – Where any order of refund is made by an Appellate Authority, Tribunal or any Court against an order of the proper officer under sub-section (4) or sub-section (4A) of section 38, the order passed by the Appellate Authority, Tribunal or, as the case may be, by the Court shall be deemed to be an order passed under the said sub-section (4) or sub-section (4A) for the purposes of this section.
40. Consumer Welfare Fund
- There shall be established by the Central or a State Government a fund, to be called the Consumer Welfare Fund.
- There shall be credited to the Fund, in such manner as may be prescribed, –
- the amount of tax referred to in sub-section (4) or sub-section (4A) of section 38; and
- any income from investment of the amount credited to the Fund and any other monies received by the Central or a State Government for the purposes of this Fund.
41. Utilization of the Fund
- Any money credited to the Fund shall be utilised by the Central/State Government for the welfare of the consumers in accordance with such rules as that Government may make in this behalf.
- The Central/State Government shall maintain or, if it thinks fit, specify the authority
which shall maintain, proper and separate account and other relevant records in relation to the Fund in such form as may be prescribed in consultation with the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India.