Govt will know if you evade GST, Sushil Modi warns traders

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Govt will know if you evade GST, Sushil Modi warns traders

In last one year of GST regime, the revenue authorities have come across numerous cases of tax evasion where companies used fake bills to claim input tax credit.

Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and GST Network panel head Sushil Kumar Modi on Saturday said that the traders should stop evading taxes as the government can now track them down by using data analytics developed by Infosys. He said that the government - by using data analytics - has identified a large number of defaulters while filing GSTR3B and GSTR1.

"We will use data analytics to track GST tax defaulters through its network which has 360-degree view of online transactions to detect discrepancies," Modi said after chairing the 9th meeting of the GSTN Group of Ministers (GoM). Modi heads the GoM which was set up to address the IT-related issues of the GSTN.

In last one year of GST regime, the revenue authorities have come across numerous cases of tax evasion where companies used fake bills to claim input tax credit - an option in the GST which allows the taxpayers to claim credit for the taxes paid on purchase. To exploit this option, traders bought fake bills which enabled them to claim input tax credit on the supply which never happened.

Last month, the GST department sent notices to about 200 firms after data mining revealed that they may have evaded the taxes by under-invoicing or selling their goods in cash. According to reports, the GST department raised red flags in cases where details in GSTR3B and GSTR1 didn't match.

This year in May, GST officers sent scrutiny notices to several companies whose tax payments did not match the final sales return. The move had come after revenue authorities detected under payment of GST by about 34 per cent. As per an analysis done by the department, 34 per cent of businesses paid Rs 34,400 crore less tax between July-December while filing initial summary return (GSTR-3B).

Warning against this practice, Sushil Kumar Modi yesterday said: "Traders and dealers should not avoid or evade paying taxes that are due from them on their goods and services, as business intelligence software (third eye) will trace the defaulters easily."

Asked to comment on Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia's displeasure over technology failure in implementation of GST, Modi said the GoM is fully satisfied with Infosys and collectively solved the problems that cropped up in the past. "We would also continue to solve the existing problems in GSTN collectively. As on today, the number of returns filed is 124.8 million and number of payment transactions stands at 42.6 million. Therefore, Infosys performance is good," he said.

The GST Council is scheduled to hold its next meeting in New Delhi on July 21.

(With inputs from PTI)