New Delhi: A nine-point plan has been firmed up to plug revenue leakages under the goods and services tax regime. It includes setting up a panel with tax officials from Centre and states to draw up a standard operating procedure for tackling refund frauds.
The action plan was finalised after a meeting of state and central GST chief commissioners on Tuesday chaired by revenue secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey. “The committee of Centre and state officers will come out with a detailed standard operating procedure within a week, which may be implemented across the country by January-end,” said a GST Council Secretariat statement.
The committee’s aim will be to examine and implement quick measures to curb fraudulent refund claims.
Linking foreign exchange remittances with integrated GST refunds may be undertaken to check fraudulent refund claims for new or risky exporters, while a single bank account for remittance receipt and refund disbursement will be created, it said.
Further, the GST Network, Central Board of Direct Taxes and Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs will share data on a quarterly basis for early identification and checking of fraud cases, the statement said.
“A memorandum of understanding will be signed by the agencies. This will ultimately lead to increased revenue collections and at the same time ensure that genuine taxpayers are not harassed,” an official said. Also, CBDT and CBIC will jointly profile fraudsters by sharing data of cases involving evasion and fraudulent refund.
Besides sharing of data, access to banking transactions including the bank account details by GST system will be developed in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India and the National Payments Council of India. The GST system will be aligned with Financial Intelligence Unit for getting details of bank accounts, transactions and PAN-based banking transactions.
Further, GSTR forms will be amended to include self-assessment declaration in case of closure of businesses, as a means of ease of doing business for companies.
Tax experts said the proposed measures should be implemented well. “While these measures cannot be questioned, it needs to be ensured that these are implemented well on the ground, not leading to harrassment for taxpayers,” said Pratik Jain, indirect taxes leader, PwC.
Industry needs to be careful in GST filing and should ensure that adequate control is exercised on vendor’s compliances, which would anyway be needed with introduction of e-invoicing from April, Jain added.