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GST Grievance Redressal: How to Register a GST Complaint?

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The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is India’s indirect tax system, implemented under the One Hundred and First Amendment of the Constitution of India. Introduced on July 1, 2017, GST replaced multiple indirect taxes like excise duty, VAT, and service tax, creating a single, unified market.

GST is charged at every point of sale, with intra-state sales attracting both Central GST and State GST, and inter-state sales attracting Integrated GST. The GST Council governs the tax rates, which consists of finance ministers from the central government and all the states.

In many cases, taxpayers, businesses, and users face problems regarding GST and its online services. Some of the major complaints that most citizens have registered are:

  • Technical Issues: Problems with the GST portal, such as login difficulties, system errors, slow response times, or data mismatches between the GSTN and the taxpayer’s records.
  • Refund Delays or Rejections: Issues with delayed or rejected refund claims, can cause financial strain and affect the cash flow of businesses.
  • GST Fraud: Complaints about illegal GST charges, including taxes on GST-exempt products/services, overcharging, and fraudsters posing as GST officers.
  • Procedural Problems: Challenges with the procedures followed by GST authorities, such as delays in issuing refunds, incorrect classification of goods or services, or incorrect application of tax rates.

Citizens can address these problems through the grievance redressal mechanism of the GST Council or by raising a ticket for specific complaints. As a user, registered on GST with the GSTIN number, you can also register the complaints and get help from the GST helpdesk for these available services:

  • Registration: Businesses who want to register for GST on the official GST portal. The process involves filling out an application form and providing necessary details such as PAN, business details, and contact information. Once the application is submitted, a Temporary Reference Number (TRN) is generated, which is used to complete the registration process.
  • Returns Filing: Taxpayers, who want to file GST returns periodically, detailing their sales, purchases, and taxes paid and collected. Returns can be filed online through the GST portal using forms like GSTR-1, GSTR-3B, etc. The process includes uploading invoices and other required documents.
  • Payment: GST payments are to be made online through the GST portal. After offsetting the Input Tax Credit, taxpayers generate a challan and make the payment using various modes such as net banking, NEFT/RTGS, or through authorized banks.
  • Refunds: If a taxpayer has paid more tax than they owe or has accumulated Input Tax Credit, they can claim a refund. The refund process is initiated by applying the GST portal, and it requires the submission of relevant documents and details of the excess payment.
  • E-Way Bill Generation: Transporters, who want to generate an e-way bill for the movement of goods exceeding a certain value. The process involves registering on the e-way bill portal and entering details of the goods being transported, such as HSN code, value, consignor and consignee details, and the transporter’s information. A unique E-Way Bill Number (EBN) is generated, which must be carried during the transit.

Here’s how you can resolve these GST problems by filing a GST complaint within respective CBIC offices and GST Council. Follow the given instructions, communication details, and online grievance forms to redress the grievance easily as per the citizen charter and guidelines.

How to File a GST Complaint?

According to the citizen charter, a business or individual who is registered for GST with GSTIN or facing any problem while registering for GST can file a GST complaint to the helpdesk or grievance officers as per the grievance redressal mechanism.

Flow chart for filing a complaint of GST
Flow chart for filing a complaint of GST

Initially, you should file a complaint for immediate queries or grievances by creating a ticket through the ‘Self-Service’ module on the GST portal. Further, the grievance resolution mechanism is divided into these levels:

  • First Level: Grievances are first addressed at the initial point of contact, which could be the GST Helpdesk (call the GST helpline number 1800-103-4786) or the portal where the complaint is lodged.
  • Grievance Redressal Committee (GRC): If the grievance is not resolved satisfactorily at the first level, it can be escalated to the Grievance Redressal Committee consisting of Commissioners/Customer Officers at the Zonal/State level.
  • Higher Authorities (Board): In case the resolution provided by the GRC is still not satisfactory, the taxpayer has the option to escalate the matter or appeal to higher authorities such as the Directorate/Commissioner within the tax department of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC).
  • Judicial Remedies: As a last resort, taxpayers can seek judicial remedies through tribunals or courts. Before taking legal action, you should prefer to use internal dispute resolution and arbitration for the redressal of the GST disputes.

Each step in the escalation process is designed to provide a fair and just resolution to the grievances related to GST and indirect taxes. For more detailed information, you may refer to the official GST Council documents. For filing your complaints regarding GST services, follow the procedure below.

Want to file an appeal against a GST order online? 

To file an appeal on the GST portal (gst.gov.in), log in, navigate to My Applications, select the appeal type, enter order details, choose the case category, upload the annexure, specify the disputed amount and pre-deposit payment, and submit the appeal. Keep the submission record for reference.

If you need help, read the manual for filing an appeal to the Appellate Authority or contact GST Helpdesk using the instructions and helpline numbers provided below.

Level 1: File a GST Complaint

Follow the instructions to register your complaint with GST.

Required Details

Prerequisites for Filing a GST Complaint:

  1. Taxpayer Registration: The complainant must be a registered taxpayer, GST Practitioner, or business, under the GST regime.
  2. Valid GSTIN: The complainant must have a valid GST Identification Number (GSTIN). New users may use the Temporary Registration Number (TRN).
  3. Complainant’s Identity: The complainant’s (business/company/GST Practitioner/Proprietor) identity, including name, address, and contact details, should be clearly stated.
  4. Nature of Complaint: Specify the nature of the issue or grievance being raised, such as non-issuance of invoices, incorrect tax computation, or fraudulent practices.
  5. Supporting Documents: Any relevant supporting documentation, such as invoices, purchase orders, refund slips, tax filings, or communication with the counterparty, should be attached.

Process for Filing a GST Complaint

You can file complaints using online or offline modes of communication. In online mode, you can use the GST portal with the registered account or get help from “Self-Service (1800-103-4786)” for technical problems.

For submitting an offline complaint, you have to visit the nearest indirect tax offices for GST or send a written complaint to your divisional CBIC offices in the respective city.

Online form for registering a complaint to GST Grievance Redressal Council
Online form for registering a complaint to GST Grievance Redressal Council

1. Online Process

Process of Filing a GST Complaint Online:

  1. Self-Service GST System: Visit the official Self-Service GST system portal and click “Report an issue” from the left corner.
    • Call the GST Helpline Number: 1800-103-4786
    • File an online complaint
  2. Report Issue / Complaint’: Enter the type of issue or concern, for example – GSTR 1, Payments, Technical, or GSTR 3-B.
  3. Advance Search: Click “‘Advance Search” to select the appropriate complaint type from the available categories and sub-categories, such as ‘Audit, Registration, or Assessment’ or ‘Returns.’
  4. FAQs: Read the suggested frequently asked questions and answers to resolve the problem yourself. If unresolved, choose the next step.
  5. File a Complaint: Click the “No. I Want to Lodge My Complaint” button to raise your concerns.
  6. Ticket Details: Provide the asked details in the complaint form, such as registered as a taxpayer or not, GSTIN/ARN/Registration Number, and other details:
    • Complainant details
    • Previous docket (ticket number of the previous complaint, if not resolved)
    • Return/Refund/Assessment or other asked details
  7. Issue Description: Provide detailed information about the complaint, including the counterparty’s GSTIN, transaction details, and the nature of the issue. (maximum 500 words)
  8. Upload Supporting Documents: Attach relevant supporting documents and copies of evidence. (only PNG, JPG, JPEG, PDF, XLS, XLSX and JSON files up to 5MB)
  9. Submit Complaint: Enter the captcha code, review the complaint summary and submit it by clicking on the ‘Submit’ button.

For any help or query regarding CGST, call the helpline number 1800-1200-232 or the “Fill Query Forum” provided by CBIC.

2. Offline Process

Process of Lodging a GST Complaint Offline:

  1. Download Complaint Form: Visit the official GST portal and download the GST complaint form (Form GST CMP-01) or get a form from the nearest CBIC office.
  2. Fill in Complaint Details: Fill out the complaint form manually, providing all the required information.
  3. Attach Supporting Documents: Enclose relevant supporting documents along with the filled-out complaint form.
  4. Submit Complaint: Submit the complaint form and supporting documents in person at the nearest GST Seva Kendra or by post to the jurisdictional CBIC GST office.

Resolution

After the successful submission of a grievance, the resolution process will include these steps until the final decision is passed by the officials.

  1. Acknowledgement: Grievances will be acknowledged within 48 hours of receipt. Use this reference ID to track the status or escalate the case to the next level.
  2. Preliminary Investigation: The GST authorities will conduct a preliminary investigation to verify the validity of the complaint.
  3. Notice to Counterparty: If the complaint is found to be valid, the counterparty will be issued a notice seeking an explanation or response.
  4. Hearing: The Officials may hold a hearing or communicate with you to gather evidence and statements.
  5. Final Order: A final reply will be attempted within 30 days of receipt. If unresolved, escalate the issue to the next level.

If the response is unsatisfactory, an appeal can be filed with a higher authority, which will be decided within 15 days.

Please note that filing a false or frivolous GST complaint can have serious consequences, including penalties, audits, or investigations for tax sources by the officials.

Before raising your concerns, follow these best practices:

  • What are your concerns?: Know the nature of the specific problem you are facing, whether it’s technical, a refund delay, GST fraud, or a procedural issue.
  • Have supporting evidence?: Collect relevant documents and information related to the issue, such as screenshots of error messages, copies of communication with GST authorities, invoices, and proof of payments.
  • Selected category?: While filing an online complaint, select the appropriate category for your complaint and fill out the required details, providing a clear description of the issue (if you don’t know the category of issue) and attaching supporting documents.
  • Noted Acknowledgment?: Don’t forget to note down the acknowledgement/ticket number for future reference. You can track the status of your complaint using these IDs.

Not Resolved? If your complaint is not resolved within a reasonable time (usually 30 days) or if the response is unsatisfactory, escalate it to higher authorities, such as the Open House meetings of the Public Grievance Committee (GRC), Customs Clearance Facilitation Committee, Permanent Trade Facilitation Committee, Regional Advisory Committee constituted by the CBIC or the GST Council.

Level 2: Escalate to Grievance Redressal Committee (GRC)

The Grievance Redressal Committee (GRC) is constituted to address the grievances of taxpayers related to GST issues. Constituted the GST Council, the committee consists of officers from both Central Tax and State Tax, representatives of trade and industry, and other stakeholders in the GST system.

At the Zonal/State level, you as a taxpayer, can escalate the unresolved specific or general grievances to the respective GRC. The complaints can be lodged online or offline, depending on your choice. In each committee, a Public Grievance Officer is appointed who is responsible for redressing the disputed GST matters.

Here’s how you can escalate the unresolved complaints to the GST Public Grievance Redressal Committee, Permanent Trade Facilitation Committee, or Regional Advisory Committee.

Lodging a Grievance to GST GRC

Escalating your GST complaint by lodging a grievance to the Grievance Redressal Committee is appropriate when the initial resolution attempts fail, leading to unresolved technical glitches, procedural delays, and incorrect tax charges.

Why should you escalate the disputed matter? 

The reasons can be technical issues with the GST portal, significant delays in procedural aspects, and disputes over tax rates or incorrect tax calculations along with service unavailability, wrong assessments, and higher GST taxation, where you feel unfairly treated.

Required Details:

  • Ticket/reference ID of the previous complaint
  • GSTIN, ARN, TRN or other registration details
  • Reason for dissatisfaction
  • Expected resolution
  • Copies of supporting documents

Procedure to file a complaint with GRC:

You can escalate the disputed matter by lodging a public grievance through the CPGRAMS portal of the central government by selecting CBIC. Follow the steps:

  1. Visit the “Centralised Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS)” Portal
  2. Register or login yourself
  3. Select Finance Department > then CBIC or GST Council
  4. Fill out the required details in the grievance form
  5. Attach supporting documents
  6. Submit the form and note down the reference ID

After the successful submission of your grievance, take the printout of the acknowledgement ID or screenshot for future reference. To track your status, log in again at the PG Portal.

To contact the public grievance officers or nodal officers appointed for the GRC in your state/zone, click here.

You can expect the final decision on your grievance within 15 days or as specified by the Public Grievance Officials.

If still not satisfied, you may reopen the grievance and lodge a grievance again to the Directorate or appointed Public Grievance Officer of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs.

Address: Directorate of Publicity & Public Relations, Customs & Central GST, Central Revenues Building, I.P. Estate, New Delhi-110109.

Appeal to GSTAT

In case of an adverse decision or disagreement with a ruling made by the GST authorities, you may further escalate the matter to the GST Appellate Tribunal (GSTAT) for reconsideration. To initiate this process, you must file an appeal within 3 months (90 days) from the date of the final decision of the GST Authority being challenged.

If the decision is favourable, comply with the terms. If not, you may consider appealing to a higher court or filing a new lawsuit.

It is important to follow the timelines and procedures when escalating a matter to the GST Appellate Tribunal. Seeking professional legal counsel can provide you with valuable guidance and assist you in preparing a compelling appeal, which can ensure the best possible outcome for your case.

FAQS

Q. What is GRC and how can I escalate a disputed matter through it?
A. The Grievance Redressal Committee (GRC) reviews GST complaints and makes recommendations to favour taxpayers. It comprises members from various departments and stakeholders. Taxpayers can file a complaint online or offline at the nearest GST center.

Q. What are some common reasons for GST disputes?
A. Common GST disputes involve incorrect tax computation, non-issuance of invoices, refund delays, denial of input tax credit, classification and valuation of goods, interest and penalty charges, and fraudulent practices.

Q. What details do I need to provide while filing a complaint with GRC?
A. When filing a complaint with GRC, you need to provide the following information: the ticket/reference ID of a previous complaint, your GSTIN, ARN, TRN, or other registration details, and the reason for your dissatisfaction.

Q. How long does it take to receive a final decision on my grievance?
A. A final decision on your grievance should be made within 30 days of receipt. If unresolved, you can escalate the issue to the next level.

Q. Can I track the status of my grievance after submitting it through the CPGRAMS portal?
A. Yes, you can track the status of your grievance through the CPGRAMS portal using the unique reference number provided after submission. To do so, visit the portal, click on “Track Grievance,” enter your reference number, and click “Search.” The grievance status will be displayed.

Q. What should I do if I am still not satisfied with the decision made by the Public Grievance Officials?
A. If you’re not satisfied with the Public Grievance Officials’ decision, you can escalate it to the GST Appellate Tribunal (GSTAT) by filing an appeal within 3 months from the decision date. The appeal must include your name, address, the GST authority’s name and address, the decision date, the appeal grounds, a copy of the decision, and any relevant documents. The GSTAT will hear your appeal and make a final and binding decision.

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