The Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal ( CESTAT ), Chennai bench has held that the service tax refund claim made by the assessee cannot be rejected on account of delay which was caused to department reorganization after the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax ( GST ).
The refund application made by the assessee was earlier rejected by the adjudicating authority and accepted the same only on 12.07.2017 after being advised by the Assistant Commissioner to wait for some time on account of Revenue Offices being re-located on account of migration to GST.
Before the Tribunal, the assessee contended that the delay was not in the date of filing but, rather, is due to the delay in receipt of its application on account of Department’s reorganization and therefore, the application should be accepted.
The Tribunal found force in the appellant’s contention that the delay is there only on account of the receipt of the appellant’s application for refund.
“This fact is duly supported by the Legacy Cell letter dated 18.07.2017 in C.No. IV/16/02/2017-Misc.Leg.RF/ RB-II issued by the Office of the Commissioner Goods and Service Tax, Chennai-South Commissionerate, wherein the date of the claim of the appellant for refund has been acknowledged as 27.06.2017,” the Tribunal noted.
“I do not find any finding by the lower authorities as to the non-compliance with any of the provisions of Rule 5 of CCR, 2004 for rejecting the appellant’s claim. This, coupled with the date of acknowledgment by the Legacy Cell, makes it very clear that the appellant’s claim for refund was in order and is even so, in terms of Notifications referred to in the Order-in-Original. For the above reasons, I am of the considered opinion that the rejection of the appellant’s claim by the Commissioner (Appeals) vide impugned order is not sustainable and hence, the same is set aside,” the Tribunal said.To Read the full text of the Order CLICK HERE