GST Refund Process – Scope For Improvement

In the past year, while I was focusing the farmers initiative in India, I have also been spending time helping my spouse’s business with her GST related tax filings, returns etc.

This has helped me learn about the current process and I am glad I could give some of my feedback to the tax officers today – when they reached out to us with the manual steps involved in getting the tax refund from their office.

Happy to share it here so that any one else with awareness on this topic and interest in helping India improve the ease of doing business, could pitch in.

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GST REFUND PROCESS – SCOPE FOR IMPROVEMENT

Respected Sir, good morning and thank you for the detailed communication in this regard. After you sent the circular (Circular No.1_2018_Refund.pdf), I have read the circular in detail and it explains the process very clearly.

I continue to be disappointed with the number of manual steps involved in this process and hence would like to contribute to the improvement of it in a few ways.

The intention is purely to help India become one of the best countries to do business in and with the experience of having spent close to a dozen years in the US, as a patriotic Indian, I feel obliged to provide my inputs on the same.

Please find below my recommendations on the same:

  1. The tax payer is already providing necessary information on the GST portal by uploading the information such as invoice details, expense details etc. A simple utility can be built as a part of the features provided to the officers, where with one click of a button they should be able to retrieve all the information already uploaded by the tax payer.
  2. The above information contains the necessary proof and details on the GST portal by the tax payer, after entering their signature (either digital signature or via electronic validation). Hence the necessary proof with signature from the tax payer is already available to the officers from the GST portal. Hence, there should not be even one step extra which causes duplication of work on the part of the tax payer.
  3. If any of the information relevant and necessary for completing the refund process is not taken from the taxpayer via the portal already, the portal should be enhanced to allow the tax payer to enter the same.
  4. Until such a utility is built, if still an additional proof is required to release the refund of the hard earned money paid in excess by the business, the GST office should make use of its employees to visit the GST tax payer’s offices with printed copies of the necessary documents and get the signature of the business owner (or their representative) along with the business seal and provide the refund via Direct Bank Transfer instantly.

I also would like to request that the refund money due to be taken by the Government as my contribution to your esteemed organisation to help improve the processes and automate them well to reduce/remove the pain to the user of the GST portal.

While I hope that these will be useful to the GST office, I fully understand that these recommendations may or may not be considered by your respected organisation, but I am submitting them as it is my duty to the nation.

Thanks in advance for your patience in reading the above recommendations.

Regards.

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