The government has moved the Supreme Court challenging the order by the Delhi High Court allowing Bharti Airtel to claim Rs 923 crore in goods and services tax (GST) refunds. In May, Delhi High Court had allowed Sunil Mittal led telecom firm to seek refunds by correcting their tax returns filed for July-September 2017. The telco had claimed that it paid extra since it missed filing a few invoices which resulted in extra calculation of payable taxes. Delhi High Court had allowed Bharti Airtel to make corrections to the GSTR-3B forms for the given period.
"Certain transactions like stock transfer from one place of business to another under the same GST registration was reported as supply; in few instances, due to inadvertent error, NIL form GSTR-3B were filed, though actually there was output tax liability," Bharti Airtel had said in its petition.
While the government claims that the company under-reported input tax credit, Bharti Airtel said it paid excess tax on inputs based on estimates as GSTR-2A form was not operational during the given period.
Meanwhile, US-based private equity firm, Carlyle Group recently announced that it will buy a 25 per cent stake in Bharti Airtel's data centre business, Nxtra Data for $235 million (around Rs 1,780 crore). Airtel will continue to hold the remaining 75 per cent stake in the business. Nxtra will use the proceeds from the stake sale to scale up its infrastructure across the country. The deal will peg the company's post-money enterprise valuation at $1.2 billion, which is over Rs 9,084 crore.