Service Tax Refund claim filed after expiry of Limitation can’t be entertained: CESTAT [Read Order]

Service Tax Refund claim - expiry of limitation - CESTAT - taxscan

The Customs, Excise, and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT), Delhi Bench held that the Service Tax Refund claim filed after expiry of limitation cannot be entertained.

The appellant, JPG Construction Pvt Ltd. sought the quashing of the order passed by the Commissioner (Appeals), Central Tax and GST Delhi, by which the appeal has been dismissed and the order passed by the Assistant Commissioner rejecting the refund claim of Rs. 64,68,025 filed by the appellant under the provisions of section 102 of the Finance Act, 1994, has been upheld.

The issue arose for consideration was whether the appellant had submitted the application for refund of service tax within the stipulated time since the application filed for refund has been rejected for the sole reason that it was not submitted within the time prescribed.

The appellant claimed that it submitted the refund application online on October 13, 2016. It is, therefore, necessary to examine the procedure for filing an application online. According to appellant, the procedure is provided in the Trade Notice dated September 17, 2009 as also the Circular dated March 23, 2010 issued by the Central Board of Excise and Customs.

The Trade Notice provides that to transact business on ACES, a user has to first register with the ACES through a process called “Registration with ACES”. A detailed procedure for taking registration has also been provided for new assessee, existing assessee, non-assessee and large taxpayer units. The Trade Notice further provides that an assessee can electronically file a statutory refund by either filing it online or by downloading the offline return utilities which can be filled in offline and uploaded to the system through the internet.

The appellant urged that the application was first filed online on October 13, 2016 and so it was within time and in any view of matter, in view of the provisions of section 83 of the Finance Act, section 11B of the Excise Act would be applicable and the application for refund could be filed within one year from the relevant date.

The coram headed by the President, Justice Dilip Gupta held that it cannot contend that the online application was actually made on October 13, 2016 as there is nothing on the record to substantiate that such an application was actually filed.

“Though an attempt was made by the appellant to submit the application online but the process that was required to be undertaken for making an application online was not complied with as even the regulation was not done. The application cannot be treated to have been filed on time. If there was any difficulty in submitting the application, the appellant could have sought the help of the help desk but the appellant has not stated that he made an attempt to seek help,” the CESTAT while dismissing the appeal said.

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