Service tax refunds can be obtained from the Customs and Excise Department. This is done through the Automation of Central Excise and Service Tax Web Portal. Returns should be filed within 25 days after the end of every six months.
Service Tax refunds are not easy to obtain as there is a heavy backlog of reimbursements in the system. Refund requests are often rejected and even if any requests are approved, the delay in processing may drive a person crazy. Though an exporter can claim interest on the amount in case of delays in issuing reimbursements, due to irregular payments by the government and lack of awareness, not much is done on that front.
Filing Service Tax Returns
You can claim service tax refund from the Customs and Excise Department through the Automation of Central Excise and Service Tax (ACES) web portal. Service Tax Refund can be claimed only after you file your service tax returns. The returns should be filed within 25 days from the end of each six months. Once the return is filed, you can determine the amount you have spent as service tax on the exported products and claim refund on it. You can also do self-adjustment of the excess service tax towards future tax liabilities. For instance, you are due to receive Rs. 45,000 as service tax refund for a particular assessment year but you expect to pay the same amount as tax in the following year. Here, instead of claiming the refund, you can self-adjust it and declare it in the Service Tax Return, and save yourself Rs. 45,000 for the next year.
Creating a Refund Request
A refund request can be created on the ACES portal by logging in and going to ‘Create’ under the ‘Refund Request’ option on the ‘REF’ menu in your account. Once you add the requested details such as registration number, address, commissionerate information and particulars of the claim, you can submit the form for refund. The refund request will be scrutinised by the department and processed once the request is found to be legitimate.
The refund status can be checked by logging in to the ACES portal from where you filed the refund request. Click on ‘Service Tax’ from the homepage and sign in to your account. If you have filed for any refund and the reimbursement is approved by the department, you will be able to see the ‘Check Status’ option and track your refund using your acknowledgement number from the refund request created by you earlier. If the refund is not given to you within 3 months from the date of application for refund, the government is liable to pay you a simple interest of 6% on the pending amount until the date of payment.