The Principal Chief Commissioners/ Chief Commissioners/
Principal Commissioners/Commissioner of Central Tax (All) /
The Principal Directors General/ Directors General (All) /
Pr. Chief Controller of Accounts (CBIC)
Subject: Clarification regarding processing of refund claims filed by UIN entities – regarding
1) The Board vide Circulars No. 36/10/2018-GST dated 13th March, 2018 and No. 43/17/2018- GST dated 13th April, 2018 has specified the detailed procedure for filing and processing of refund applications by UIN entities (Embassy/Mission/Consulate / United Nations Organizations/Specified International Organizations). Various representations have been received on certain issues pertaining to the processing of such refund claims. In order to clarify these issues and to ensure uniformity in the implementation of the provisions of the law across the field formations, the Board, in exercise of its powers conferred under section 168 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (hereinafter referred to as CGST Act) hereby clarifies the said issues as below:
2) Non-compliance with letter of reciprocity: Notifications No. 13/2017 – Integrated Tax (Rate), 16/2017-Central Tax (Rate) and No. 16/2017 – Union Territory tax (Rate) all dated 28th June, 2017 and corresponding notifications under the respective State Goods and Services Tax Acts provide for examination of the refund claims in accordance with the letter of reciprocity issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (hereinafter referred to as MEA). Generally, these letters of reciprocity have certain conditions specified on the basis of which refunds have to be processed and sanctioned. For example, letters may specify the minimum value of goods or services or the end use of such goods or services (official or personal purposes).
2.1 It has been observed that many UIN entities are claiming the refund on all invoices irrespective of whether or not they are eligible for the same as per the reciprocity letter issued by MEA. It is observed that such claims are attested/signed by Diplomats/Consulars and authorized signatories of the Consulates or Embassies of the foreign countries.
3) UIN entities have been advised to submit a statement of invoices and hard copies of only those invoices wherein the UIN is not mentioned vide Circular No. 43/17/2018-GST dated 13th April,2018. Further, refund processing officers have been advised not to request for original or hard copy of the invoices unless necessary. However, it is observed that the delay in processing of the UIN refunds is primarily due to the non-furnishing of the hard copy of the invoices by the UIN entities and the statement of invoices as specified in paragraph 2.1 of Circular No. 43/17/2018-GST dated 13.04.2018. It may be noted that the same are needed in order to determine the eligibility for grant of refund in accordance with the reciprocity letter issued by MEA. Further, it has been observed that in some cases, the Certificate and Undertaking submitted by the UIN entities is not in accordance with Notifications No. 13/2017 – Integrated Tax (Rate), 16/2017-Central Tax (Rate) and No. 16/2017 – Union Territory tax (Rate) all dated 28th June, 2017 and corresponding notifications under the respective State Goods and Services Tax Acts.
4) In order to expedite the processing of the refund applications filed by the UIN entities, the following formats/documents are hereby specified:
4.1 Refund Checklist: In order to bring in uniformity in the processing of the refund claims, a checklist has been specified in Annexure A. All UIN entities may refer to this checklist while filing the refund claims.
4.2 Certificate: A sample certificate to be submitted by Embassy/Mission/Consulate is enclosed as Annexure-B and that to be submitted by United Nations Organizations/Specified International Organizations is enclosed as Annexure-B-1.
4.3 Undertaking: A sample undertaking to be submitted by Embassy/Mission/Consulate is enclosed as Annexure-C and that to be submitted by United Nations Organizations/Specified International Organizations is enclosed as Annexure-C-1.
4.4 Statement of Invoices: The detailed statement of invoices shall be submitted in the format specified in Annexure D.
5) Prior Permission letter for GST refund for purchase of vehicles: MEA vide letter F. No. D_II/451/12(5)/2017 dated 21.06.2018 has informed that it is mandatory to enclose the copy of ‘Prior Permission Letter’ issued by the Protocol Special Section of MEA at the time of submission of GST refund for purchase of vehicle by the foreign representatives. Accordingly, it is advised that UIN entities must submit the copy of the ‘Prior Permission letter’ and mention the same in the covering letter while applying for GST refund on purchase of vehicles to avoid delay in processing of refunds.
6) Non-availability of refunds to personnel and officials of United Nations and other International organizations: It is hereby clarified that the personnel and officials of United Nations and other International organizations are not eligible to claim refund under Notifications No. 13/2017 – Integrated Tax (Rate), 16/2017-Central Tax (Rate) and No. 16/2017 – Union Territory tax (Rate) all dated 28th June, 2017 and corresponding notifications under the respective State Goods and Services Tax Acts. However, the eligibility of refund for the personnel and officials posted in the Embassy/Mission/Consulate shall be determined based on the principle of reciprocity.
7) Waiver from recording UIN in the invoices for the months of April, 2018 to March, 2019: A one-time waiver is hereby given from recording the UIN on the invoices issued by the suppliers pertaining to the refund claims filed for the quarters from April, 2018 to March, 2019, subject to the condition that the copies of such invoices which are attested by the authorized representative of the UIN entity shall be submitted to the jurisdictional officer.
8) Format of Monthly report: Circular No. 36/10/2018-GST dated 13th March, 2018 provides for a monthly report to be furnished to the Principal Director General of Goods and Services Tax by the 30th of the succeeding month. The report shall now be furnished in a new format as specified in Annexure E.
9) It is requested that suitable trade notices may be issued to publicize the contents of this Circular.
10) Difficulty, if any, in implementation of the above instructions may please be brought to the notice of the Board. Hindi version would follow.