Seven months after the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST), income tax department is seriously mulling over a plan to adopt new measures such as invoice matching and e-way bill to identify deliberate tax evasion, The Indian Express reported. In order to plug revenue leakages and identify GST evasion cases by March this year, the department has also started scrutinising the tax filings under the GST, beginning January this year, The Indian Express reported citing Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) Chairman Vanaja N Sarna. There is no place for deliberately evading tax, however, mistakes can still be cleared out through discussion, the same report cited Vanaja Sarna as saying. A very long time has been given to the GST taxpayers to rectify their mistakes and get doubts cleared, and now it’s time to go after the unscrupulous traders, the officer told The Indian Express.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley earlier this month had said that in order to improve compliance level under GST, additional anti evasion measures are being put in place. Better compliance level will help the government to meet the fiscal deficit target in the coming year, and also improve the tax collection, he had said. There have been concerns regarding the leakage in revenue in the indirect tax regime since GST revenue witnessed a slip in the month of October. The government wanted an early implementation of e-way bill system from 1 February as an anti-evasion measure. However, the online system crashed on the day of the rollout of the bill of the service. Now the service for inter-state goods movement (for over Rs 50,000 and 10 km) will be implemented from 1 April – the earlier approved rollout date of the bill.
In the next GST Council meeting that is scheduled on 10 March through videoconferencing, the government will discuss the option of invoice matching along with a focus on making tax returns further simplified for the taxpayers. In the last meeting held on Saturday, a group of state finance ministers couldn’t reach a consensus on the final shape of the GST tax return forms for the taxpayers, under the goods and services tax (GST).