Assam Government clarifies Procedure in respect of return of Time Expired Drugs or Medicines

Nov 01, 2018 | by Avantis RegTech Legal Research Team


The Government of Assam on October 26, 2018 has issued notification, regarding clarification on the procedure to be followed in respect of return of time expired drugs or medicines under the Goods and Services Taxes laws (GST).

Various representations have been received seeking clarification on the procedure to be followed in respect of return of time expired drugs or medicines under the GST laws. The issues raised in the representations have been examined and to ensure uniformity in the implementation of the law across the field formations, the Government of Assam clarifies the issue in succeeding paragraphs.

The common trade practice in the pharmaceutical sector is that the drugs or medicines (goods) are sold by the manufacturer to the wholesaler and by the wholesaler to the retailer on the basis of an invoice/bill of supply as case may be. It is significant to mention here that such goods have a defined life term which is normally referred to as the date of expiry. Such goods which have crossed their date of expiry are colloquially referred to as time expired goods and are returned back to the manufacturer, on account of expiry, through the supply chain.

It is clarified that the retailer/ wholesaler can follow either of the below mentioned procedures for the return of the time expired goods:

A.      Return of time expired goods to be treated as fresh supply:

                                       i.      In case the person returning the time expired goods is a registered person (other than a composition taxpayer), he may, at his option, return the said goods by treating it is as a fresh supply and thereby issuing an invoice for the same (return supply). The value of the said goods as shown in the invoice on the basis of which the goods were supplied earlier may be taken as the value of such return supply.  The wholesaler or manufacturer, as the case may be, who is the recipient of such return supply, shall be eligible to avail Input Tax Credit (ITC) of the tax levied on the said return supply subject to the fulfilment of the conditions specified in Section 16 of the Assam Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017.

                                     ii.      In case the person returning the time expired goods is a composition taxpayer, he may return the said goods by issuing a bill of supply and pay tax at the rate applicable to a composition taxpayer. In this scenario there will not be any availability of ITC to the recipient of return supply.

                                    iii.      In case the person returning the time expired goods is an unregistered person, he may return the said goods by issuing any commercial document without charging any tax on the same.

                                   iv.      Where the time expired goods which have been returned by the retailer/wholesaler are destroyed by the manufacturer, he/she is required to reverse the ITC availed on the return supply in terms of the provisions of clause (h) of sub-section (5) of section 17 of the Assam Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017. It is pertinent to mention here that the ITC which is required to be reversed in such scenario is the ITC availed on the return supply and not the ITC that is attributable to the manufacture of such time expired goods.

 

B.      Return of time expired goods by issuing Credit Note:

i.         As per sub-section (1) of Section 34 of the Assam Goods and Services Tax Act 2017 the supplier can issue a credit note where the goods are returned back by the recipient. Thus, the manufacturer or the wholesaler who has supplied the goods to the wholesaler or retailer, as the case may be, has the option to issue a credit note in relation to the time expired goods returned by the wholesaler or retailer, as the case may be.  In such a scenario, the retailer or wholesaler may return the time expired goods by issuing a delivery challan. It may be noted that there is no time limit for the issuance of a credit note in the law except with regard to the adjustment of the tax liability in case of the credit notes issued prior to the month of September following the end of the financial year and those issued after it.

ii.       If the credit note is issued within the time limit specified in sub-section (2) of section 34 of the Assam Goods and Services Tax Act 2017, the tax liability may be adjusted by the supplier, subject to the condition that the person returning the time expired goods has either not availed the ITC or if availed has reversed the ITC so availed against the goods being returned.

iii.      However, if the time limit specified in sub-section (2) of section 34 of the Assam Goods and Services Tax Act 2017 has lapsed, a credit note may still be issued by the supplier for such return of goods but the tax liability cannot be adjusted by him in his hands.

iv.     Further, where the time expired goods, which have been returned by the retailer/wholesaler, are destroyed by the manufacturer, he/she is required to reverse the ITC attributable to the manufacture of such goods, in terms of the provisions of clause (h) of subsection (5) of section 17 of the Assam Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017.

It may be noted that though the circular discusses the scenarios in relation to return of goods on account of expiry of the same, it may be applicable to such other scenarios where the goods are returned on account of reasons other than the one detailed above.

[Circular No. 27/2018-GST]

URL: http://103.8.248.131/GST/FORMATS/Circular_No_27_2018_GST.pdf


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