In order to avail various services offered by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), under MCA21 system (i.e. online services), online payment is required to be made at the MCA website by a User (i.e. service seeker). At present the payment for MCA21 services may be made through different modes viz. Credit card/ Debit Card, NEFT, Net Banking and Challan (i.e. by generating Challan online and depositing the same with an authorized bank branch). While making payment for the MCA21 services, sometimes users make multiple payments or incorrect payment or excess payment at MCA portal. Therefore, the MCA has established a refund process so that users may claim the refund of such extra/additional/incorrect payments. The refund process is applicable for services related to Companies and Limited Liabilities Partnerships (LLPs).
CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH REFUND PROCESS MAY BE INITIATED
The process of refund under MCA21 may be initiated in the following circumstances:
1. IN CASE OF MULTIPLE PAYMENTS
When the user makes multiple filings of eForm No. INC2/INC-7/old Form 1 or INC-29/ eForm 2 LLP or eForm No. SH-7/old Form 5 or eForm 3LLP and makes multiple payments i.e. more than once for the same form/ service then refund process may be initiated by such user. It may be noted that in case any filed form has been approved by the concerned Registrar of Companies (ROC), then refund shall not be allowed for such approved e-Form.
Instances of multiple payments may occur due to different issues like a technical problem at the MCA payment gateway or MCA system responding slowly due to slow network or a session timeout at the time of making payment for filing eform. Due to such reasons, the amount may be debited from the payees' account but the receipt of such payment may not be generated compelling the user to make multiple payments for the same eForm. Therefore, the MCA has allowed refund for such multiple payments to the users.
2. IN CASE OF INCORRECT PAYMENTS
Certain payments may be made by a user through an incorrect option under Pay Miscellaneous fee facility in respect of MCA filing fees and/or stamp duty fees. There may be instances when payment of stamp duty fee may be made into account identified for MCA filing fee or payment of MCA filing fee may be made into account identified for stamp duty fee. Further, there may be other reasons due to which payment may be incorrectly made by a user to the account of MCA. Such reasons may be payment after expiry of SRN due date or payment made without any SRN or payment of fee related to CLB or other regulatory authorities paid through Pay Miscellaneous fee. In such situations, the MCA allows refund of payments which are incorrectly made by users.
3. IN CASE OF EXCESS PAYMENT
Sometimes a user may make excess payment due to some incorrect data entered in the e-Form or incorrect data entered in the MCA21 system. There may be some additional payment by the user due to the delay in filing of eform on account of technical problems of the MCA system. In such circumstances, the payment which are in addition or excess to the required sum may be refunded by the MCA to the ser.
4. IN CASE OF INCORRECT PAYMENT VIA NEFT
When a user has selected NeFT as mode of payment and makes an error as specified in the above three points while making payment with the MCA, then the refund may be claimed for such incorrect payment by the user.
5. PROCESS TO INITIATE REFUND
A user may initiate refund process by filing the Refund Form with the MCA. The Refund Form for claiming refund is available at the MCA website. It is worth noting here that the Refund Form can be filed only with respect to such transactions whose payment status shows as 'PAID' at the MCA portal. Further, no filing fee is required for filing the said Refund Form. However, the user is required to mandatorily attach with the Refund Form, the copy of challan duly acknowledged by the bank in respect of SRN for which refund is sought and scanned copy of cancelled cheque of the user. In addition to these documents, any other information/document may be provided as an optional attachment with the Refund Form.
The Refund Form may be filed only for claiming refund of such fees which relate to MCA21 services and hence, any amount of stamp duty cannot be claimed for refund under this process. In order to claim refund of stamp duty, the user is required to make request for such refund with the concerned state/ union territory. The Refund Form also cannot be filed for payments related to Public Inspection of documents and Request for Certified Copies.
It is also provided that there shall be a deduction in the amount to be refunded based on time period within which refund eForm is filed. Accordingly, the time slab for filing the Refund Form and the corresponding deduction in refund amount is as under:
|Time within which refund application is made||Default value for deduction|
|181- 270 days||7.5%|
Therefore, in order to get maximum amount of refund, the Refund Form should be filed within the stipulated time period as shown above. It is however, to be noted that there will be no deduction for refund of such fees which has been made via NeFT. Further, the maximum time allowed to file the Refund Form is 1095 days of making payment, meaning thereby, that no refund will be granted in case Refund Form is filed after 1095 days of the date of payment originally made by the user.
After filing the Refund Form with the MCA, the same shall be processed and necessary intimation through email shall be sent by the MCA to the user regarding approval or rejection of the said filed Refund Form. Where the Form is found to be eligible for refund, an intimation of the same via email shall be sent by MCA to the user along with the format of G.A.R 33 form.
Then the user is required to take print out of the said G.A.R 33 form, fill the required details therein and send the same to the Drawing and Disbursement Officer, Ministry of Corporate Affairs at Room No. 580A, 5th Floor, "A" Wing, Shastri Bhawan, Rajendra Prasad Road, New Delhi - 110001. After successful processing/ approval of the Refund Form and on receipt of the G.A.R. 33 form, the amount of refund shall be deposited by the MCA into the user's bank account, the details of which have been provided in the Refund Form. It may be noted that in the Refund Form the user has to select the mode of payment of refund by choosing either 'Cheque' or 'Direct deposit into bank account' option. However, for the time being, the 'Cheque' option has been disabled and only the facility for "Direct deposit into bank account" is available.
NON APPLICABILITY OF REFUND
Before proceeding with filing the Refund Form, the user must note that the Refund process is not applicable with respect to the payment made for the following services/eForms:
- Public Inspection of documents;
- Request for Certified Copies;
- Payment for transfer deeds;
- Payment of Stamp duty fee;
- Payments relating to Investor
Education and Protection Fund (IEPF);
- Forms which are processed by the ROC
under Straight Through Process (STP) mode;
- Form No. DIR-3/old form DIN -
Further, certain companies and LLPs are not allowed to file the Refund Form. Such Companies and LLPs are:
- Companies or LLP having status as
'Under process of striking off';
- Companies or LLP which are Struck
off/ Defunct/ Liquidated/ Dissolved;
- Companies which are Converted into
LLP and Dissolved;
- Companies or LLPs which are 'Not
available for e-filing',
- Companies which are Dormant or
Dormant u/s 455;
- Companies having status as
'Active in progress'
Notwithstanding above, in case of amalgamation, the transferee company is allowed to file Refund Form.
The Refund process provided by the MCA enables a user to claim for refund of any extra/additional/ incorrect payment made while availing the MCA21 services by following the prescribed procedures as described above, within the parameters of certain conditions and restrictions. Under the process only specific kinds of transactions and payments are eligible for refund. Further, a certain amount may also be deducted from the total payment made by the user depending on the number of days elapsing between the payment made and claiming of the refund. Hence, it is advisable that appropriate precautions should be taken while making payment at MCA portal for filing e-forms and availing other services.
Originally published by INDIAN LEGAL IMPETUS® on JULY 2020. Vol. XIII, Issue VII
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.