In a bid to provide relief to businesses hit by the Covis-19 pandemic, the Government on Wednesday said it will release all GST & Customs refunds to provide benefit to around 1 lakh business entities including MSMEs
“It has been decided to issue all pending GST and Custom refunds which would provide benefit to around 1 lakh business entities, including MSME. Thus, the total refund granted will be approximately Rs. 18,000 crore,” said a statement.
The Government also said it would provide immediate relief to the business entities and individuals by releasing all the pending income-tax refunds up to Rs. 5 lakh, immediately. This would benefit around 14 lakh taxpayers.
“Speedy online IT, GST and Customs refunds without human intervention, even upto Rs 5 lakh, should assuage the situation of MSMEs, who would be under extreme cash crunch,” said Harpreet Singh, Partner, KPMG.
To provide relief to businesses grappling with the economic impact of Covid 19, the Government on March 24 had extended the filing of Return for the month of March, April and May 2020 and composition returns under GST June 30. The Finance Minister also said companies which have less than Rs 5 crore turnover will not have to pay interest, late fee or penalty. For bigger companies late fee and penalty will not apply and only interest at a reduced rate of 9% will be charged.
However, taxpayers have been demanding more and a significant wish was the refund of stuck GST. “As a next step Government could look at, expediting issuance of benefits under Foreign Trade Policy i.e. Service Exports India Scheme (SEIS) and duty drawbacks. This could provide relief to lot of small service and goods exporters,” adds Singh.
According to MS Mani, Partner, Deloitte India, “In a situation where businesses are making plans of dealing with cash crunch situations on resumption of operations, enabling GST refunds on a war footing would be assist businesses and energise them. Businesses which have borne the brunt of the lockdown would be greatly enthused at the prospect of getting GST refunds enabling quicker resumption of operations.”