Time Limit for Refund Application under GST

According to Section 54 of CGST Act, an application for claiming refund of any tax and interest can be made before the expiry of two years from the relevant date.  Here there is a question of what the relevant date is. However there is no time limit for claiming refund of cash available in the Electronic Cash Ledger provided the returns are furnished under Section 39.

Relevant date for various supplies:

1. Export of goods out of India:

Relevant date for refund of tax paid on the supplies of goods, the inputs or input services used in such goods is,

  • Where exported by sea or air, the date on when the ship or the aircraft leaves India, on which the goods are loaded on such ship or the aircraft
  • Where exported by land, the date on which the goods pass the frontier
  • Where exported by post, the date of dispatch of goods by the Post office.

2. Deemed exports: The relevant date is when the return is furnished for such deemed exports.

3. Export of services out of India:

Relevant date for refund of tax paid in respect of services, inputs or input services used in such services is, within 2 years, from the date,

  • On when the payment is received in convertible foreign exchange (or in Indian Rupees as permitted by RBI) for the services, where the supply of services had been completed
  • On when the invoice is issued where the payment for the services received in advance.

4. Refund in case of Judgment/Order: Where the tax becomes refundable as a consequence of judgment, decree, order or direction of the Appellate Authority, Appellate Tribunal or any court, the relevant date is the date of communication of such judgment, decree, order or direction.

5. Refund in case of Inverted duty structure: Where the Electronic Credit Leger has unutilized input tax credit due to inverted duty structure, i.e. the rate of tax on inputs being higher than the rate of tax on output supplies, the relevant date for filing application for refund is the due date for furnishing of return under section 39 for the period in which such claim for refund arises.

6. Refund in case of tax paid provisionally: Where the tax is paid provisionally under this Act or the rules made thereunder, the relevant date is the date of adjustment of tax after the final assessment.

7. Refund to a person other than supplier: The refund in case of a person, other than the supplier, i.e. the recipient, the relevant date is the date of receipt of goods or services or both by such person.

8. Refund in other cases: The relevant date for filling application of refund in other cases than those discussed above, is the date of payment of tax. For an example, refund of tax paid in excess by mistake.