Kerala, Maharashtra working on measures to check evasion, mis-reporting
Big bang rate cuts in Goods and Services Tax are unlikely to take place for sometime as the Centre and States are now keen to shore up revenue collections and touch, if not exceed, a monthly mop-up of ?1 lakh crore.
The Centre and States are working on a number of anti-evasion measures aimed at improving compliance as they look to increase revenue mop-up under the new indirect tax regime. “It has been over a year since GST was rolled out. The tax has now stabilised to some extent and assessees are quite familiar with it. Improving compliance is now the top priority,” said an official familiar with the development, adding that more rate cuts will further hit revenue collections. Centre and State officials are understood to be discussing ways to improve collections while the GST Network has been asked to use more data analytic tools to check leakages and mis-reporting.
States like Kerala and Maharashtra have already started working on such measures. Kerala has started cracking the whip on benami GST registrations.
In the wake of the recent floods, the State has asked its tax officials to work on curbing tax evasion practices and leakage of revenue by ensuring that they conduct field visits as soon as a registration application is filed on the GST Network. It has also asked officials to be vigilant in registration of “evasion prone” commodities like plywood, veneer and packing material.
Timely filing of GST monthly returns, monitoring of input tax credit and checking e-Way bills for consignments are other measures that the States are adopting to prevent leakage of revenue.
Maharashtra has now alerted its tax officials to a case where ?1.12 lakh crore was wrongly availed by a company as credit for GSTR -3B. While a team of tax officials that visited the company made it reverse the credit, officials are now keeping a close watch on such issues as well, said another source.
Revenue collections from GST dropped to ?93,960 crore in August from ?96,483 crore in July because of the impact of large- scale duty cuts and more of this may be felt in September.
The Finance Ministry had set a monthly target of ?1 lakh crore from GST revenue but it was only in April that the gross GST collection rose to ?1,03,458 crore.