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The CBIC has issued circular regarding SOP for exporters. The GST law has allowed taxpayers to make zero-rated supplies in the following two ways:

  1. Without payment of tax
  2. With the payment of tax and claim a refund of GST paid thereafter.
The availability of the latter has also led to certain unscrupulous means of claiming refund where it is not due. This is being done using a combination of various methods such as operating through non-existent exporters, raising fake invoices, etc.

This article is broken up into the following parts:

  1. Measures taken by the CBIC
  2. SOP for Exporters
  3. Information to be provided in proforma

1. Measures taken by the CBIC

To mitigate the risk of loss of revenue through dishonest means, the government has taken certain strict steps:
  • A small percentage of exporters are selected based on rigorous data analytics and AI tools, and further verification is being taken up. 
  • The refund scrolls of such exporters are kept in abeyance.
  • The export consignments/shipments of such exporters are also subject to a 100% examination at the customs port. 
However, such verification may cause hardship to genuine and honest taxpayers. 

2. SOP for Exporters

As mentioned earlier, the verifications may cause hardship to honest taxpayers. In order to reduce such issues, the exporters must follow the SOP prescribed, which is summarised as follows:
  1. The exports whose refund scrolls are kept in abeyance are being informed of this fact as soon as possible. Such exporters are also being asked to provide certain information in proforma(given later in the article). This information can be provided by the exporter voluntarily too.
  2. The department shall endeavour to complete the verification within 14 days of furnishing the information in proforma. The jurisdictional authority may seek further additional information for verification if required.
  3. In case the verification is not complete within 14 days:
    1. The jurisdictional officer will bring this fact to the notice of a nodal cell (constituted in the office of jurisdictional Pr. Chief Commissioner/Chief Commissioner)
    2. The taxpayer may also, by himself, escalate the matter to the concerned Pr. Chief Commissioner/Chief Commissioner via e-mail.
    3. The Pr. Chief Commissioner/Chief Commissioner in the above cases must endeavour to resolve the matter within seven days.
  4. In case the refund remains pending for more than one month, the exporter must raise a grievance on The resolution for such grievances will be provided by a committee headed by Member GST, CBIC. It is to be noted that all grievances must be provided along with the relevant details like GSTIN, IEC, Shipping Bill No., Port of Export and CGST Formation, where the details in the prescribed format had been submitted, etc.

3. Information to be provided in proforma

The following information is to be provided by the exporter for verification:

I. GST related data:-

  1. GSTIN
  2. Details of association of proprietor/director/partner with other entities
S.  No. Name of Director/Partner/Proprietor Name of the Other Entity PAN (DIN if director) GSTIN Registration Status (Active/Inactive)
      1. Turnover of the previous financial year (For New Entity till date Current Financial Year Turnover, if any)
      2. Details of GST liability
S. No. Return Type Declared Aggregate Liability for Previous Financial Year Declared aggregate liability for Current Financial Year
2 GSTR-1
      1. Details of ITC
FY ITC Available in GSTR-2A ITC Available in GSTR-3B Mismatch Details of Payment or Reversal of Mismatched ITC
      1. Details of refund claimed in the previous financial year and current financial year
S. No. GSTIN Type of Refund ARN No. and Date Amount Authority From Which Refund Claimed
Claimed Sanctioned
      1. Summary of e-way bills generated for the relevant period
S. No. Supplies No. of e-Way Bills Generated HSNs Taxable Amount
1 Inward
2 Outward

II. Financial Data:-

    1. Bank Account details including the bank accounts of proprietor/partner/directors –
    S. No. Account Number IFSC Code Account Type Name of Account Holder PAN of Account Holder Date of Opening of Bank Account
    1. Bank account statement of the past six months in respect to the bank accounts provided above.
    2. BRCs/FIRCs evidencing receipt of foreign remittances against the exports made in the past one year.
    3. Bank letter for up-to-date KYC of all bank accounts provided above
    4. Top five creditors and debtors (with GSTIN) from the account(s) where refunds are proposed to be received and from which major business transactions (payment for supplies and receipts) are carried out. 

    III. Additional Data:-

    1. Copy of PAN
    2. Copy of IEC
    3. Certificate of incorporation or partnership deed
    4. Rent agreement of all premises along with geo-tagged photos
    5. Telephone bill for the past three months for all premises
    6. Electricity bill for the past three months for all premises
    7. Number of employees and the statement of PF evidencing employees
    8. Copy of the following schedules of the latest income tax return:
    • Computation of depreciation on plant and machinery under the Income Tax Act
    • Calculation of depreciation on other assets under the Income Tax Act
    • Summary of depreciation on all the assets under the Income Tax Act
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