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One of the objectives of GST was to eradicate cascading effect of taxes which existed under excise, VAT and service tax.

Under GST input tax credit can be claimed irrespective of place of supplier, thus making accessibility for sales and purchase of goods easier.

Let us now understand the concept of input tax credit in detail -

Watch our exclusive video on GSTR-2A Reconciliation

What is Input Tax Credit?

Input tax credit (ITC) is the tax paid by the buyer on purchase of goods or services.

Such tax which is paid at the purchase when reduced from liability payable on outward supplies is known as input tax credit.

In other words, input tax credit is tax reduced from output tax payable on account of sales.

Lets Understand With the help of  Example

Mr. A purchased goods worth Rs. 18,000 on which GST @ 18% was Rs. 3240.

He sold goods worth Rs. 22,000. GST payable @ 18% is Rs. 3960.

Let us calculate and understand net GST payable and input GST credit.

Outward GST payable -

Rs.  3960

Less- GST paid on purchases

Rs.  3240

Thus, net GST payable through cash     Rs. 720

From above, we understand that Rs 3240 reduced is input tax credit availed that had been paid on purchases.

Basic  Requisites / Conditions  for Claiming

Input Tax Credit (ITC)

The following requisites are mandatory for claiming input tax credit under GST

One must be registered under GST Law

tax invoice or debit note issued by the registered supplier showing the tax amount

Goods or services must have been received

Supplier should have filed returns and paid such tax thereon to the government

Where goods are received in parts or in installments, ITC maybe claimed on receipt of last lot or installment.

Where input tax credit is included in the cost of capital goods and depreciation on such tax is claimed, no input tax credit is allowed.

Input tax credit will not be allowed if the same has not been claimed within the prescribed time limit.

How to Claim 100% ITC? - Watch  LIVE DEMO  Below

 Documents  on which Input Tax Credit may be claimed:

A registered dealer can claim input tax credit on the basis of following documents –

  1. 1
    tax invoice issued by registered supplier
  2. 2
    A debit note issued in respect of earlier issued tax invoice by the registered supplier.
  3. 3
    An invoice issued by the recipient of goods or services who has paid tax under reverse charge mechanism
  4. 4
    bill of entry or similar document in case of imports.
  5. 5
    An invoice or credit note issued by an Input Service Distributor.

Reversal  of Input tax Credit (ITC)

Input tax credit may be reversed under certain circumstances as mentioned below –

  1. 1
    Failure to pay supplier within 180 days from the date of invoice.
  2. 2
    Goods and services whether inputs or capital goods used for personal purpose.
  3. 3
    Goods and services utilized for producing or supplying exempted goods or services.
  4. 4
    Sale of capital goods or plant and machinery on which input tax credit was claimed.
  5. 5
    Credit note issued by input service distributor.
  6. 6
    Supplies ineligible under section 17(5) of the Act.
  7. 7
    Transition from registered regular dealer to composite dealer

Where input tax credit is reversed,

  • The amount reversed may be added to output tax liability in the month in which it is reversed,
  • Interest shall be paid from the date of availing credit till the date when the amount is reversed and paid
  • No time limit shall be applicable for reclaiming the reversed credit.
  •  How To Avail Credit  Where Tax Has Been Paid Under
    Reverse Charge Mechanism (RCM)

    Where tax has been paid under reverse charge basis, input tax credit may be availed in the same month in which the payment is made, provided the following condition is satisfied –

    (1) Liability has been discharged through cash

    (2) Goods or service has been used for business purpose

    (3) Self-invoicing is done on such purchases as no tax invoice can be issued by unregistered supplier

     Time limit  for claiming Input Tax Credit (ITC)

    input tax credit

    Input tax credit can be claimed against an invoice/ debit note or credit note before the end of the following dates, whichever is earlier –

    1. Due date of  GST return filing for the month of September of the next financial year

    2. Date of filing annual return for that financial year. For the FY 17-18, period to be claimed ITC was extended to March 2019. 

    However, if no credit has been claimed till filing return of March 2019, any such credit will lapse and cannot be claimed even through GSTR 9 annual return.

    Thus, it can be understood that no Input tax credit can be claimed through GSTR 9 annual return if the same is not claimed through other GST returns.

     Special Circumstances  in which ITC may be claimed

    As per section 18 of the CGST Act, input tax credit may be claimed in certain special circumstances –

    Availability of input tax credit in case of compulsory registration.

    Availability of input tax credit in case of voluntary registration

    Availability of input tax credit when the registered person ceases to be applicable for composition scheme.

    Availability of input tax credit in case exempted supplies become taxable

    Availability of input tax credit in case of change in constitution

    Ineligible Input tax credit or items  where ITC is not allowed 

    itc under gst

    Purchase of motor vehicles or conveyances. However, there are certain exceptions to it.

    Any expense including insurance of motor vehicles or conveyances mentioned above.

    ITC on food, beverages, outdoor catering services, beauty treatment, health services, cosmetic and plastic surgery

    Sale of membership of health and fitness centre, clubs

    ITC on rent a cab, life insurance, health insurance

    Travel benefits extended to employees

    ITC on works contract services availed for construction of immovable property,  including goods and services used for construction for immovable property (except plant and machinery).

    ITC on purchases by registered person opting for composition scheme.

    Goods or services used for personal consumption

    ITC on goods stolen, lost, destroyed, written off or given as free samples.

    ITC on tax paid due fraud cases.

    Input Tax Credit  Set-Off Rules 

    From 1st July 2019, GSTN portal has been updated with new system of ITC utilisation. ITC can be utilised in the manner described below.

    input tax credit
    • IGST credit should be fully utilised first.
    • In case of CGST liability, CGST credit is to utilised first and then IGST credit. However, one must take into consideration that no IGST credit is pending
    • In case of SGST liability, SGST credit is to utilised first and then IGST credit. However, one must take into consideration that no IGST credit is pending
    • CGST credit cannot be utilised against setting off SGST liability and vice versa, SGST credit cannot be utilised to set off CGST liability.
    • The main aim while setting off input tax credit against tax liability is to have minimum tax pay-out after complying with all provisions of the act.

    Time limit for claiming ITC under GST

    input tax credit time limit

    GSTIN has specified a time-limit to claim the Input Tax Credit.

    As per Section 16(4) of the CGST Act 2017, taxpayers can claim any pending ITCs for any particular month, till the September of the subsequent year or while filing the annual return GSTR-9 for the financial year in which the Input Tax Credit has been availed.

    Any pending ITC post this period will collapse & you will not be allowed to utilize it in any way to release any tax liabilities.

    However, it is recommended to claim the ITC in real-time that is to claim ITC on a monthly basis via form GSTR-2B Reconciliation & GSTR-3B.

    The ITC claiming time limit must be kept in mind by the accountants especially while dealing with complex transactions such as Imports & SEZ transactions.

    Refund of Input tax credit under GST

    refund of input tax credit

    Refund of Input Tax Credit under GST comes in three forms, that is there are three cases under which a taxpayer can claim the refund of the ITC in their electronic credit/cash ledger

    Following are the three cases under which taxpayers can claim the refund of ITC-

    1. 1
      Refund of unutilized Input Tax Credit (ITC) on account of Exports without the payment of integrated tax.
    2. 2
      Refund of unutilized input tax credit (ITC) on account of goods or services supplied to SEZ Unit/ SEZ Developers without the payment of integrated taxes.
    3. 3
      Refund of unutilized ITC on account of accumulation due to the inverted tax structure, where the input tax is more than outward tax liabilities.

    Input tax credit rules under GST

    input tax credit with example

    There are a few rules & conditions that taxpayers need to keep in mind while claiming ITC under GST.

    We have simplified them & broken them down for you in a list below-

    180 Days Rule

    The buyer of the goods who is claiming the ITC must make the complete payment to the supplier within 180 days from the date of supply in order to claim ITC.

     If the buyer fails to do so, then their credit availed will be added to their outward tax liability.

    Time Limit of claiming ITC

    ITC can be claimed by the taxpayer EITHER till the GSTR filing of September of the subsequent year OR in the annual return filing of form GSTR-9

    Possession of Documents

    The taxpayer who is willing to take ITC must possess the invoices & other supporting documents with him, such as Credit & Debit Notes

    Receiving the Goods

    The receiver of the goods & services must have received the same within 180 days from the date of the invoice.

    Provisional ITC under GST

    As per the 10% Provisional ITC rule, if your supplier fails to furnish the invoices in their GSTR-1 & it does not appear in your GSTR-2A you will not be able to claim full ITC on such transactions.

    Instead, you will be eligible only for an additional 10% of the actual ITC mentioned in your GSTR-2A.

    ITC on Capital Goods

    You cannot claim ITC on the capital goods if you have already claimed depreciation on the same.

    You can opt for either of the two but not both.

    Goods Received in Installments

    In case you are receiving the goods in lots or installments, then you will only be eligible for ITC when the last & final installment is received by you.

    ITC on Debit Notes

    Customers can claim ITC based on Debit Notes created against an Invoice.

    ITC, in case of Credit Note Generation

    Using a Credit Note, the supplier can reduce their tax liabilities.

    In this case, the recipient will have to reverse the ITC that they have claimed as Credit Notes nullify the transactions.

    ITC on Import of Goods

    While claiming ITC on imports, you must furnish- The bill of entry & The IGST payment challan.

    Deposition of Taxes to the government

    You must ensure that the GST that you have paid to the supplier reaches to the Government vis GST returns.

    If the tax doesn't reach the Government, you may not be able to claim full ITC of the same

    Common Credit of ITC under GST

    Common Credits can only be claimed in the following 2 cases-

    • Effecting exempted and taxable supplies
    • Business and non-business related activities

    What is meant by ineligible ITC?

    ineligible ITC under GST

    There are certain cases Where Input Tax Credit under GST Cannot Be Availed, this is called ineligible ITC under GST.

    We have listed down the cases that are ineligible for claiming Input Tax Credit under GST, if taxpayers claim the credits of these items/services they can be liable -

    1. 1
      ITC on purchase of Motor vehicles and conveyances (for personal use, and for motor vehicles with seating capacity up to 13 persons, purchase of aircraft & vessels)
    2. 2
      No ITC on account of detention, seizure, and release of goods and conveyances in transit. (Section 129)
    3. 3
      General insurance, servicing, repairs, and maintenance of vehicles & vessels
    4. 4
      Vessels & Aircraft, however, there are a few exceptions where ITC is allowed for the same.
    5. 5
      Supply of food, beverages, club memberships, beauty treatment, surgery, etc for personal use or office parties
    6. 6
      No ITC allowed on payment of late fees, penalties, interests, etc.
    7. 7
      No ITC on tax paid on account of confiscation of goods or conveyances and levy of penalty (section 130)
    8. 8
      ITC availed by means of a fraud or scam under section 74 of the CGST Act 2017.
    9. 9
      Goods & Services purchased for exempted supplies.
    10. 10
      Membership of a club, Gym, Beauty club, health, and fitness center
    11. 11
      Life & Health insurance
    12. 12
      Travel for personal or business purposes, vacations, holidays, etc. where LTA is provided to the employees (unless obligated)
    13. 13
      Free Samples, gifts, lost stolen and destroyed goods
    14. 14
      Working Contract (for construction of properties)
    15. 15
      Leasing, Renting, Hiring Vehicles for other than specified purposes.
    16. 16
      Construction of immovable property for personal use
    17. 17
      Purchase from Composition Scheme
    18. 18
      Good & Services received by a Non-resident
    19. 19
      Goods & Services for Personal Consumption

    Input tax credit on capital goods

    There are four types of Capital Goods in businesses & here is how ITC works on them-

    Capital Goods only for Personal Use: No ITC available

    Capital Goods only for Exempted Sales: No ITC available

    Capital Goods only for Normal Taxable Sales- ITC available per usual

    Capital Goods for both personal/ exempted AND for Normal Sales:

    Calculate proportionate ITC depending on the ratio in which the goods are used for personal & business purposes.

    Note- ITC can only be claimed on Capital Goods, when depreciation has not been claimed on them. Meaning you can either claim ITC or depreciation on Capital Goods.

     Input tax credit with example

    input tax credit with example

    Here is an Example of how Input Tax Credit Mechanism under GST works-

    Mr. Pushkar buys processed & dyed silk material worth INR 50,000 at a GST rate of 5% (Total cost paid- 52500 including GST) for his Silk business.

    Since Mr. Pushkar is using the material for his business, he can claim the credit of INR 2500 by mentioning the same in their GSTR-3B and adjust the same with his outward tax liability & reduce it.

    He then sells his finished goods for INR 80,000 at a tax rate of 12%, his total tax liability for the same tax period becomes INR 9600.

    Now since he already paid INR 2500 as input tax, he can utilize his credit & reduce the outward tax amount while paying the tax liability at the time of filing his GSTR-3B for that tax period.

    Meaning he will only have to pay an adjusted amount of INR 7100 as his outward tax liability.

    Working- Now, the major question here is how does ITC work while filing the GST returns?

    Here is a simple explanation- First, Mr. Pushkar’s supplier will file their GSTR-1 & declare the details of the sale he made to Mr. Pushkar in the same.

    The details filed by the supplier in their GSTR-1 will reflect in Mr. Pushkar's GSTR-2A as well as GSTR-2 for that tax period.

    Mr. Pushkar will then file their GSTR-3B using their GSTR-2A & GSTR-2 where he will calculate his actual tax liability, his input tax credits as per GSTR-2A, & then the final adjusted tax liability payable.

    Reversal of input tax credit under gst

    Payment the supplier within 180 days from issue of invoice

    Inputs and capital goods must not be used for personal purposes

    Inputs and capital goods must not be used for providing exempt supplies

    Credit Notes issued by seller to ISD (Input service distributor)

    When the reversed ITC is less than required

    This reversed ITC needs to be furnished in the recipients GSTR-2. Additionally, the reversed ITC will add up to the total outward data.

    Note- ITC can be declared in Table 11(2) of Form GSTR-2

    Note- the recipient will have to pay these reverse charges & their taxes for the ITC availed earlier


    About the author

    CA Sugandh Jain Parmar is a practicing Chartered Accountant with an experience of over 4 years. Having associated with one of the Big 4 audit firms in India for 2 years, she has knowledge on internal audit and internal financial controls. Currently, her domain specialization includes providing GST consultancy and advisory services. Her articles focus on balancing information and in-depth information on GST related topics.

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