The government is contemplating eliminating the flexibility for buyers and sellers to revise their output liability by locking invoices and removing the edit option in the next financial year, as revealed by Revenue Secretary Sanjay Malhotra. This proposal, intended to be discussed at the upcoming GST Council meeting, aims to enhance compliance and address the issue of fake invoicing within the indirect tax system.
Malhotra highlighted the need to bolster compliance to combat the proliferation of fake entities and fraudulent billing practices. The current trust-based system, coupled with the edit facility, has been exploited by unscrupulous individuals, necessitating tighter control measures.
While the proposal does not require GST Council approval, it will be presented for consideration at the upcoming meeting. The envisioned system modification entails locking invoices and removing the editing option post-submission of GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B, offering several benefits for the economic framework. This includes preventing suppliers with fraudulent intentions from altering invoice information after submission, managing false Input Tax Credit issues, and minimizing commercial disputes.
However, this initiative also poses certain challenges, such as reduced flexibility for correcting genuine errors, increased administrative workload, and potential system integration issues. Small businesses may encounter compliance hurdles, and initial inaccuracies could escalate disputes. Additionally, concerns arise regarding the impact on genuine taxpayers, particularly in terms of claiming credit beyond GSTR 2B.
Experts suggest careful consideration and mitigation strategies to balance the benefits against these risks, emphasizing the importance of ensuring compliance while minimizing disruptions to genuine businesses.