COVID-19: GSTN Alerts Taxpayer About Fake Messages on GST Refund

Few websites have unlawfully claimed that they process Goods and Services Tax (GST) refunds and are trying to bait taxpayers to reveal personal and sensitive information. Also, it has been observed that some fraudulent messages with phishing links are being circulated on WhatsApp and SMS and via email, claiming to process GST refunds.

A replica of the GST portal has been created to steal the information. It clearly shows that some culprits have started to take undue advantage of COVID-19 crisis. The Central Government has notified only www.gst.gov.in as the common portal under the GST Laws.

Through these fraudulent links, taxpayers are asked to fill in critical information such as personal details, address, KYC verification and refund details, which cause not only financial losses but also allow such unscrupulous elements to steal their data for mala fide intentions.

The authorities appealed to the taxpayers that GST refunds can only be claimed through the GST portal (www.gst.gov.in). Any other portals with similar interface, claiming to process GST refunds, are fraudulent.

The taxpayer gets refund only after validation of his bank account at two stages:

  1. At the time when a taxpayer submits the refund application (RFD-01).
  2. At the time of issuance of the refund order (RFD-05).

This validation is done by the Public Financial Management System (PFMS) of the Controller General of Accounts (CGA). Hence, the authorities provided a central portal to track the status of bank account validation and disbursal of the refund amount. By visiting the PFMS portal, the taxpayer can track the status of bank account validation. Taxpayers can go through the advisory provided by the authorities.

Also Read: GSTN addresses 56,690 issues on helpdesk; flags fake refund solicits

The GST common portal also released dos and don’ts regarding refund applications:

Do’s:

  • Use only the GST portal for claiming refunds.
  • For any information on claiming GST refund, checking the status of the refund application read: https://www.gst.gov.in/help/refund.
  • Remember that GST Network never calls detailed personal information and refund details on email, WhatsApp or SMS.
  • Stay updated with News & Update section on the GST portal for any official and authorised information.
  • In case of any confusion or query, please call GST helpdesk 1800-103-4786.

Don’ts

  • Do not reply to any message claiming to process GST refunds.
  • Do not open any link or attachment in the message.
  • Never fill any personal detail and other information on any platform other than the GST portal for claiming refunds.
  • Do not call at the number mentioned in the messages received.
  • Do not trust information from any source other than the GST portal which uses similar portal names and interface.

Read through our article on How to Track GST Refund Status Online through the portal.

For any clarifications/feedback on the topic, please contact the writer at dvsr.anjaneyulu@cleartax.in

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