Kerala GST department proposes action against 335 merchants for profiteering

The state GST department has written to the Center demanding action against 335 merchants, who have not passed on to consumers the reduction in prices that the new indirect tax system has brought in.
The decision was made at a meeting held on Thursday, as the state doesn’t have the power under the GST law to act against such erring merchant. The state department sent its letter to the central anti-profiteering body along with a list of the merchants and evidences such as the bills that they have issued.
This is the first time that the state is moving against merchants who have been found overcharging consumers in the name of GST.
The Kerala GST department has warned that it would continue to take strict action against anyone who was found collecting tax unauthorisedly. During its recent searches, it found that some merchants were still collecting VAT, which has now subsumed into GST.Some also collect GST though they don’t have the compulsory GST registration.
If a consumer suspected illegal collection of tax,the matter could be raised on the GST department’s ‘Post Bills Here’ Facebook page by uploading the invoice, the department said.
If the central body’s scrutiny proved profiteering,the merchant’s GST registration would be revoked, and he would be made to reimburse the financial loss to the consumer plus 18% penalty.
State officials had collected pre- and post-GST price information on 600 articles from retail shops in all districts. Of these, they suspected overcharging in 431 items.
Source :  Manorama

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