from June according to an official. This would also cover suppliers of SEZ units. This is part of a move by the union revenue department to usher in faceless scrutiny of refunds besides expediting settlement of claims by exporters.
In the current scenario, anyone making a claim of refund on zero-rated supplies can opt for two options. Either the exporter can carry out the transactions without payment of integrated tax under Bond/LUT and subsequently can claim a refund of accumulated Input Tax Credit (ITC) or export can be executed on payment of integrated tax and then claim the refund afterwards. This has resulted in blockage of large amount of capital.
As on date, only exporters who have paid Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) while exporting goods can receive automated refund within a fortnight as GST Network systems are integrated with Customs.
The current rule for manufacturing exporters and suppliers to SEZ mandate that before claiming a refund of ITC, they are required to file an application in Form GST RFD-01A. The application has to be made in the common portal. Subsequently, they have to manually submit the printout of the form with other documents attached to the concerned officer.
With the implementation of automated GST for this category of exporters, the gestation period for refunds will be reduced from more than a month to a fortnight. According to official sources, greater transparency will be ushered in as it will eliminate fake refunds. When implemented by collaboration between revenue department and GSTN the scheme will render the process of seeking tax refunds faceless by June.