CBIC issues 33,000 notices for GST Return discrepancies in FY18, FY19

Last updated: 08 December 2023

Central Tax Officers Issue 33,000 GST Notices for Discrepancies in Returns and Short Payment of Taxes

In a recent development, Central tax officers have issued approximately 33,000 Goods and Services Tax (GST) notices to businesses, highlighting discrepancies in returns filed and instances of short payment of taxes during the financial years 2017-18 and 2018-19. According to a senior official from the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), this action represents a "small percentage" of the total returns filed for the mentioned fiscal years.

The National Co-ordination Committee of the State and Central GST officers, chaired by the Revenue Secretary, is expected to convene by the end of this month or early January. The meeting aims to sensitize tax officers regarding the issuance of notices, addressing concerns related to the bunching up of demand notices. This bundling is attributed to the extension in the deadline for filing annual returns for the mentioned years, creating additional pressure on officers scrutinizing returns.

Shashank Priya, Member-GST at CBIC, explained that the deadline extensions were granted at the request of taxpayers, leading to a delayed influx of returns and subsequent pressure on officers. He expressed optimism that future situations could be better addressed to avoid the piling up of notices.

 

Priya disclosed that Central GST officers have issued notices to approximately 30,000-33,000 GST registered businesses for short-payment of taxes. He emphasized the need to sensitize officers during field interactions, urging critical scrutiny of details and documents before reaching conclusions and passing orders.

To streamline the resolution of disputes, Priya highlighted the development of an automated scrutiny module that provides clarity on the scrutiny process. He stressed that resolving disputes at the adjudicating authority level, rather than approaching the GST appellate tribunal, would benefit both tax administration and taxpayers.

Addressing concerns about fake GST registrations, Priya revealed that efforts are underway to tighten the registration process. During a special two-month drive from May 16 to July 15, 2023, Central and State GST officers identified 21,791 fake GST registrations, uncovering suspected tax evasion amounting to over Rs 24,000 crore.

Looking ahead, Priya outlined plans to establish the GST appellate tribunal within the next 4-5 months. He also mentioned ongoing efforts to identify infrastructure for the tribunal and initiate the selection process for its members.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had previously informed the Parliament about the results of the special drive, where 21,791 entities with fake GST registrations were discovered, leading to the detection of suspected tax evasion totaling Rs 24,010 crore.

In conclusion, the National Co-ordination Committee is set to address these issues in its upcoming meeting, aiming to enhance coordination between state and central GST officers and streamline the GST process for both tax administrators and businesses.



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