Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Time-limit for claiming rebate in case of export starts when docs confirming such export are furnished to assessee


1.   Assessee was engaged in manufacturing and exporting lead and its alloys. It exported goods on July 14, 2008 a er payment of duty and filed rebate claim under Rule 18 of the Central Excise Rules, 2002 on September 10, 2009.

2.  The adjudicating authority rejected the claim on the ground of limitation stating that the rebate claim was filed a er expiry of one year from the date a er export of goods as per Section 11B of the Central Excise Act, 1944. The assessee filed writ petition contending that provisions of Section 11B would not be applicable to the instant case.

3.  The assessee also argued that the refund claim could not be filed until export documents and shipping bills were received from Custom authorities. Since the relevant documents were received in first week of September, 2009, refund claim could not be filed. The assessee contended that even if Section 11B was considered to be applicable, then the date of release of the necessary documents by the department would be the date for computation of limitation.

The High Court of Rajasthan held as under:

a. The High Court observed that as per Section 11B of the Central Excise Act, 1944, the refund claim was to be filed by submitting application along with relevant documents before the expiry of one year from the relevant date. If the Customs authorities delayed parting with a copy of shipping bill bearing necessary endorsement, assessee could not be put to disadvantage on the ground of limitation when the assessee was not in a position to make a claim without accompanying documents.
b.  The High Court relied on the decision of a divisional bench of the Gujrat High Court in case of Cosmonaut Chemicals v. Union of India 2008 taxmann.com 1346 where it was held that an assessee could not be penalized if refund claim had not been filed due to non- availability of requisite documents and lapse was on account of the Central Excise Department or Customs.

c.  Hence, the High Court directed the revenue authorities to allow the refund/rebate to the petitioner together with statutory rate of interest. - [2016] 69 taxmann.com 195 (Rajasthan)

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