The Bombay High Court recently held that there is no need to amend GSTIN (identity of an assessee on GST portal) and branch’s address in the bill of entry (BOE) for availing Input Tax Credit (ITC). Experts feel this judgment will guide companies to resolve issues with tax department in a situation of wrong address.

The petitioner, Metal One Corporation India Pvt Ltd, moved to the Court, after GST Department raised a demand to recover the entire IGST credit taken by it on 37 bills of entry (BOE). This happened after the company imported goods from outside India in Maharashtra. However, while filing BOE, the petitioner had inadvertently mentioned GSTIN and address of Tamil Nadu branch.

Petitioner had approached to the Customs authorities requesting amendment of GSTIN in BOE from Tamil Nadu to Maharashtra. The Customs authorities had issued certificate stating that amendment in BOE is not possible at the system however, the said certificate may be treated as amendment wherein reference of correct GSTIN has been provided. As a result of aforesaid inadvertent error, petitioner was under a GST scrutiny and an order was passed seeking recovery of ITC.

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The petitioner submitted that the goods had landed and used in Maharashtra only, and no physical movement of goods had taken place in Tamil Nadu.

After going through all the arguments and facts, the Court quashed the proceedings for recovery of IGST credit. It also held that there is no need to formally correct or amend GSTIN and branch’s address in BOE as the content of certificate issued by the Customs authorities confirmed that the said certificate may be treated as amendment of GSTIN in the BOE.

De-novo consideration

The court also remanded the matter for de-novo consideration by the tax department and asked it to pass a fresh order by taking into consideration this order. De-novo means deciding the issues without reference to any legal conclusion or assumption made by the previous court to hear the case.

Commenting on the ruling, Harpreet Singh, Indirect Tax Partner at KPMG in India, says, “While availing ITC, if the aforesaid error is identified, companies may approach the Customs authorities requesting for issuing a similar certificate, as provided in the above case, to avoid litigation on ITC availment, where the GSTIN of other location is inadvertently mentioned in the BOE.” 

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