At GST officers’ meet, new return system, fraud detection on agenda
In the first meeting in November, presentations were made on different issues such as refund disbursement by a single authority, new return system and e-invoicing.
Amid revenue concerns, measures to boost compliance, check frauds and new return system would be the key focus areas of discussion at the second national-level meeting of Goods and Services Tax (GST) officers from states and Centre, scheduled to be held Tuesday. Fake input tax credit (ITC) claims, misuse of refunds and data matching of filings and bank accounts will also be discussed in the meeting, officials said. The second meeting, which comes just over a month after the first one was held on November 25, will be chaired by Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey.
“This meeting is being organised with the purpose to curb fraud and evasion, check fake or huge ITC claims, seeking bank account details of businesses to tally with their filings, misuse of refund and sharing practices for revenue augmentation,” an official said. Introduction of new proposed features such as e-invoicing, new return system, e-way bill linking with FASTag, pendency of refunds, linkage of Aadhaar to GST registration, and the QR code will also be discussed in the meeting.
“A detailed review of further use of data analytics and artificial intelligence in the process of enforcement and red-flagging tax evaders and fake refund claimants would also be taken up to augment revenue and better compliance without overreach,” the official said, adding that tax authorities would look into linkages of data including from third parties like banks.
Authorities to take up utilising data analytics
The focus of the meeting would be to further leverage use of data analytics in the process of enforcement and red-flagging tax evaders, especially cases of fake credit and refund claims. Alongside stricter enforcement measures, the meeting will focus on the introduction of the new proposed features such as e-invoicing, new return system, e-way bill linking with Fastag, linkage of Aadhaar to GST registration, and the QR code, which are expected to be rolled out from the next financial year.
The meeting would be attended by officers of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Financial Intelligence Unit, DGARM, and GSTN, concerned field officers and also the enforcement wings to develop a targeted approach to stop tax evasion while ensuring that there is no overreach or harassment to the genuine taxpayers, officials said.
This kind of interaction between central and state tax officers has been delinked from the agenda of the GST Council meetings. Usually, officer-level meetings used to take place a day before the GST Council meetings, mainly to discuss measures outlined in the Council’s meeting agenda.
In the first meeting in November, presentations were made on different issues such as refund disbursement by a single authority, new return system and e-invoicing. Presentations were also made on a GST analytical system for tax administration to analyse and monitor tax compliance. Measures taken by states for revenue augmentation were also discussed in the meeting.
GST collections rose above the Rs 1-lakh crore mark in December (for November sales), a growth of 8.9 per cent year-over-year, after two consecutive months of contraction in September and October. The monthly revenue, however, remained below the Rs 1.1 lakh crore mark set by the Revenue Department.
In December, the Revenue Department had reset the tax targets for both direct tax and GST for the remaining part of this fiscal. For four months (December-March), GST authorities were asked to collect Rs 4.55 lakh crore (Rs 1.10 lakh crore for three months each and Rs 1.25 lakh crore in one month). The Centre’s share in GST has been behind targets, with the Central GST collection during April-November falling short of the Budget Estimate by nearly 40 per cent, according to data shared in Parliament. GST authorities are also anticipating a shortfall in compensation cess mop-up of over Rs 60,000 crore.
Source- Indian Express.
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