This article is ancillary to our articles explaining the process of refund.

Important Definitions and Interest Rates for Refund under GST

It covers the following revolving around Refund Provisions:

  1. Important definitions you need to know
  2. What does ‘Relevant Date’ mean?
  3. Interest on Refund

Latest Update!

RFD-01 (complete online refund processing functionality) is implemented from 24th September 2019.

Important definitions you need to know

“Refund” includes:

  • Refund of tax paid on zero-rated supplies of goods or services or both
  • Refund on inputs or input services used in making such zero-rated supplies
  • Refund of tax on the supply of goods regarded as deemed exports
  • Refund of unutilised input tax credit due to a higher tax rate on the input than the output


“Assessment” means determination of tax liability under this Act and includes

  • Self-assessment
  • Reassessment
  • Provisional assessment
  • Summary assessment
  • Best judgment assessment

What does ‘Relevant Date’ mean?

Refund application can be filed under GST within a period of 2 years from the relevant date.

It is important to understand what would be the “Relevant date”, as this date is required for calculating the time-limit for claiming refund.

This date can be different under different cases of Refund under GST




Condition if any

Relevant date

1 Refund of IGST paid on Export of Goods or where the accumulated ITC of Inputs /input services used in such supplies is available for refund Mode: By Sea/ Air Date of departure of Ship/ Aircraft from India
Mode: On Land Date on which Vehicle passed the frontier
Mode: By Post Date of Despatch by Post office to place outside India
2 Refund of Tax paid on Deemed Exports Date when the Return is furnished declaring the deemed export
3 Refund of IGST paid on Export of Services  or where the accumulated ITC of Inputs /input services used in such supplies is available for refund *Where,


Date of Issue of Invoice


Date of receipt of Payment in Convertible Foreign Exchange


Date of Issue of Invoice
*Where CS: Completion of Service; R: Receipt of Payment; I– Issue of Invoice; CS<-R<-I implies the timeline of events: Service is provided before the Receipt of payment and then followed by Issue of Invoice. Other two should also be understood in a similar manner.
4 Refund of Tax by Judgement/decree/order/direction

Date of communication of such judgement/decree/order/direction
5 Refund of Unutilised ITC Zero-rated supplies made without payment of tax The End of the Financial year in which refund claim arises
Inverted Duty Structure
6 Where Tax is paid provisionally

Date of adjustment of tax after the final assessment
7 Recipient / Any person other than supplier

Date of receipt of Goods/services by recipient/ such other person
9 Other cases not mentioned above

Date of Payment of Tax


      Illustration to 2(Deemed exports) : Anuj is a sub-contractor and he supplies goods to an export oriented units(EOUs) on 25 July 2017. Anuj was to file the return by 20 August 2017 for the supplied goods. The transaction would be considered as “Deemed Export”. The relevant date for this would be 20 August 2017. Anuj has time till 19th August 2019 to claim refund for these supplies.

Illustration to 3( Export of Services) : Anuj provides services to a company in South Korea on 28 July 2017. He is paid in convertible foreign exchange on 10 August 2017. The relevant date would be  10 August 2017.

Suppose, Anuj provided services to a company in Japan and issued invoice on 20 August 2017 but got payment on 10 August 2017. The relevant date would be 20 August 2017.

Illustration to Sl.No. 5(Zero-rated supplies) : Anuj Hardware technologies supplied certain goods to Bills Aerospace Components Private Limited (SEZ) on 20 July 2017. He claimed the refund on such goods on 5 September 2017. The relevant date would be 31 March 2018.

Interest on Refund

Once an application for the refund is filed, within 60 days the GST officer may issue an order if he is satisfied with the whole or partial refund amount claimed.

If the refund is not provided within 60 days of the application by the proper officer then the refund has to be paid with an interest at 6% p.a. calculated for the period of delay.

Exception: If refund from an order/direction from the appellate authority/tribunal/court is granted then interest on refund is 9% calculated for period of delay.

Period of delay for Interest calculation: To find out the period for which Interest at 6%/9% is to be calculated, count the number of days from the date of receipt of Application for refund till the date of payment of Refund.

Exception: A Casual taxable person/ Non-resident Taxable person who claims the Refund of the balance unutilised advance deposit of tax made at the time of registration, is eligible to count the days from the date of deposit till the date of payment of Refund.

The Interest shall be paid by issuing Payment advice in RFD-05. Payment advice (RFD-05) contains the amount of refund delayed, the period of delay and amount of Interest being paid.

The Interest amount is directly credited to the registered Bank account of the claimant that was declared at the time of GST registration.

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