Input-tax credit refunds amounting to Rs 53 billion, more than 10 per cent of all refund claims, are stuck due to deficiencies, the central board of indirect taxes and customs (CBIC) said in its press release earlier this month.
But officials said that this takes into account refunds cleared at the customs stage. If one considers the refund payment orders that get stuck at the level of Pay and Accounts Officers (PAO)—a lower and subsequent stage— the amount will be higher.
“While the customs department clears refunds expeditiously, scrutiny at the state PAO level adds to delays and taxpayer hassles,” said a senior official on condition of anonymity.
On AAR, the multiplicity of applications in different states, and the conflicting rulings among them are the key issue faced by companies which have multi-state presence. Officials said that while the Centre is of the view that a single authority should be formed, states are not coming on board as of now.
The Council is likely to seek a consensus on this issue.
Further, in the process of paying GST, the return filer makes about 20 entries in lieu of tax payable, late fee, penalty, interest and others each for CGST, SGST, IGST and compensation cess.
The Council is likely to decide that the distribution into these four tax heads would be done at the back end. With this, the tax payer would need to fill tax payable, interest, late fee only once, reducing the chance for manual error.