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Govt detected GST evasion worth Rs 12,000 from April to November this year

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According to a senior tax official, the government has detected GST evasion worth Rs 12,000 from April to November this year.

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While addressing an Assocham event on Wednesday, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) member John Joseph said despite the electronic way or E-way bill mechanism there has been rampant evasion and there is a need to increase compliance.

“We started anti-evasion measures from April onwards, and from April-November we have detected Rs 12,000 crore of GST evasion. This is huge compared to what happened in central excise or service tax side. There is huge evasion. There are smarter guys outside who knows how to pocket the money,” Joseph said.

He further said that almost Rs 8,000 crore worth GST evasion has been recovered by the tax officials. Joseph also said that only 5-10 percent of the 1.2 crore assessees are evading GST and bringing a bad name to the industry.

He also said, “We need to improve compliance mechanism.” “With all the apprehensions that you have, whether the election results are going to be bad for the GST or not, I can tell you very clearly that the same politicians whether in opposition or ruling party, they all came together to conceive this.” Joseph asserted.

He also said that the GST Council, comprising the Centre and states, had taken all decision relating to the new indirect tax regime. The CBIC member also stated that the new GST return forms will have a beta version initially so that industry has enough time to suggest what could be done to improve the quality of returns.

With regard to industry concerns over varied orders passed by the Authority for Advance Ruling (AAR), Joseph said that the central government was pushing for a national bench for AAR but it hit the roadblock as the bench was required to have about 40 members with representations from every state.

“I do agree there is a real serious issue in that (Advance Ruling). The Centre is trying to push that there has to be a single advance ruling authority but unfortunately think about a situation where every state says I have equal right as the Centre. So, think about a situation where a national bench is constituted with 39/40 people sitting, how do you think it will work. That is where the problem is coming in,” Joseph noted. He said even for setting up regional benches there is a huge disagreement between the states.

“Currently, what the government is doing is they are going through the entire thing, studying the issue and then issuing a clarification,” the CBIC member noted.

“Once the clarification is issued, the entire advance ruling thing becomes null and void. For some time, you have to adjust to that situation till a trust is developed between the Centre and states,” Joseph added.

“On concerns over availing input-tax credit, Joseph asked the industry to submit their representations, backed by data, along with suggestions,” Joseph concluded.

Also Read: GST collections witness sharp decrease to Rs 97,637 crore in November

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