GST authorities have expanded the probe into alleged tax evasion by fintech firm BharatPe to include reported issuance of fake invoices by those close to the firm’s ousted co-founder Ashneer Grover, an official said.
GST authorities are now scrutinising BharatPe books of the last four years to see if bogus invoices were issued for services as well.
BharatPe had stripped Grover and his wife Madhuri Jain of all positions after a preliminary report of an external audit commissioned by the fintech firm’s board showed that the duo indulged in alleged misdeeds and financial irregularities.
GST officials have since last year been investigating the books of BharatPe for alleged issuance of invoices without any actual supply of goods and the Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) in October last year had conducted a search operation at the fintech firm’s head office.
“The original GST evasion case pertained to issuance of fake invoice without any actual supply of goods. Following the recent allegations against Madhuri Jain, we are now looking into the fake invoice issuance without any actual service,” the official told PTI.
The GST investigation officers are looking into the books of accounts of BharatPe, which was founded in April 2018, and would arrive at a definitive conclusion on tax evasion in a fortnight’s time, the official added.
Goods and Services Tax (GST) law allow taxmen to probe the books of accounts of any company of last five years.
BharatPe, which has engaged a law firm and risk advisory consultants to conduct a more detailed investigation after allegations of financial irregularities, last month sacked Jain, head of controls at BharatPe.
She was terminated for alleged financial irregularities, including using the company funds for personal visits abroad, beauty treatments, buying electronics and paying for helps employed at her residence.
BharatPe, which allows shop owners to make digital payments through QR codes, last week stripped Grover of all titles and positions over his alleged “misdeeds” and may take further legal action, including clawing back of some of his shareholding.