Understanding Input Tax Refunds for Sales Tax

As a registered person under the Sales Tax Act, 1990, you might be eligible for a refund of excess input tax paid. This article provides a clear understanding of the process and key points to remember regarding input tax refunds in Pakistan.


  • If your input tax paid on taxable purchases during a tax period exceeds the output tax on account of zero-rated local supplies or exports, you can claim a refund.
  • The excess input tax must be claimed within 45 days of filing the refund claim.

Refund Process:

  • The Board specifies the manner and conditions for claiming refunds through notifications in the official Gazette.
  • If the excess input tax is not related to zero-rated or export supplies, you can carry it forward to the next tax period.
  • The Board may prescribe specific procedures for refunding such carried-forward input tax.
  • For export-related input tax refunds, the Board can issue notifications regarding fixed rates and payment methods.

Important Points:

  • Any outstanding taxes, penalties, or surcharges owed to the Board will be deducted before processing your refund.
  • The Board may investigate claims for input tax credit or refund suspected to be inadmissible.
  • The investigation usually concludes within 60 days, with a possible extension to 120 days by an Additional Commissioner Inland Revenue.
  • In exceptional cases, the Board may extend the investigation period up to 9 months, with written justification.


This article is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute professional tax advice. Always consult a qualified tax advisor for specific guidance related to your situation and eligibility for input tax refunds in Pakistan.

Additional Notes:

  • Remember to stay updated on any changes or clarifications issued by the Board regarding input tax refunds through official notifications.
  • Seek professional assistance if you have complex transactions or require further clarification on eligibility or procedures.
  • Maintaining proper records and documentation is crucial to support your refund claims and facilitate smooth processing.

By understanding the eligibility, process, and key points mentioned above, you can navigate the input tax refund system in Pakistan more effectively and ensure you receive your rightful claims within the stipulated timeframe.

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