GST evaders will face stricter scans

NEW DELHI: Tax on goods and services ( GST ), the authorities will look for the details of the bank accounts of the companies to match their presentations, in addition to initiating other measures, as part of new efforts to tighten the knot around the evaders or those who misuse the system.

The revenue department will meet officials from central and state GST wings as well as the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and the Central Board of Direct Taxes next. The idea is to improve upon the red flags, which have helped the government improve compliance, resulting in filing of the GST R-3B forms rising over 12% to 81 lakh returns by the December 20 deadline.

“Through electronic invoices and FASTag, we can verify if the goods have really moved. Bank data will help us verify if genuine transactions have been made or if false details have been filled out in the statements, ”an official told TOI.

Weak compliance, which resulted in less than 70 lakh of returns filed before the deadline just over a year ago, was seen as one of the reasons for the leaks. But in recent months, the revenue department has begun a detailed data analysis that helps to catch those who underestimated sales or demanded an excessive refund of the tax credit for inputs.

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) along with GST Network, the agency providing the technology backbone, have devised what are commonly referred to as “red flags” that typically add up to around 40,000 a month in a tax base of over one crore. There are four-five parameters based on which alerts are sent out, with key focus being on the two GST returns that are filed.

So, there is a “nudge” and a push in case the data in GST R-1 does not tally with GST R-3B. If the gap is around Rs 1 lakh, text messages are automatically sent to the company’s directors or the proprietor of a firm, asking them to look into the difference. Officials said, in a lot of cases, this itself is enough to get the entity to rectify the problem, which may have been due to oversight.

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