Tax evasion under GST? Only 16% initial returns match with final ones
According to the GST returns data, 34 per cent of businesses paid Rs 34,400 crore less tax between July-December while filing initial summary return (GSTR-3B). These 34 per cent of the businesses have paid Rs 8.16 lakh crore to the exchequer by filing GSTR-3B, whereas analysis of their GSTR-1 data show that their tax liability should have been Rs 8.50 lakh crore
With only 16 per cent of the summary sales returns under GST matching with the final returns, the revenue department has started to analyse major gaps with a view to check any possible tax evasion. According to the GST returns data, 34 per cent of businesses paid Rs 34,400 crore less tax between July-December while filing initial summary return (GSTR-3B). These 34 per cent of the businesses have paid Rs 8.16 lakh crore to the exchequer by filing GSTR-3B, whereas analysis of their GSTR-1 data show that their tax liability should have been Rs 8.50 lakh crore.
As per the analysis by the revenue department, initial returns filed and taxes paid by 16.36 per cent of the businesses have matched with their final returns and tax liability. They paid a total tax of Rs 22,014 crore. However, the data also showed that there was excess tax payment of Rs 91,072 crore by 49.36 per cent of businesses registered under GST between July-December. While they have paid Rs 6.50 lakh crore as GST, the GSTR-1 filed by them shows that their liability should have been Rs 5.59 lakh crore.
The revenue department has analysed the Goods and Services Tax (GST) returns data filed by over 51.96 lakh businesses during July-December, 2017. The indirect tax reform GST was rolled out from July 1, 2017. EY Partner Abhishek Jain said: "While the differences in the liabilities reported in GSTR- 1 vis-a-vis that in GSTR-3B would need to be analysed in detail by the Government, one of the contributor to the difference could be non-consideration of credit/debit notes in the GSTR-1 data which would have been considered for GSTR-3B numbers".
The GST Council, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprising state counterparts, had on March 10 decided to further analyse data gaps between self-declared liability in GSTR-1 and the taxes actually paid while filing GSTR-3B.
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AMRG & Associates Partner Rajat Mohan said: "84 per cent of taxpayers reporting incorrect revenue statements, is a matter of concern. Triumph of GST depends on self-assessment mechanism for which we have to adopt completely bias-free, independent, automated, and digital Tax regime, which would be impossible if such high number of taxpayers are committing errors in data entry". As per a finance ministry reply to the Lok Sabha, GST mop up was Rs 93,590 crore in July, Rs 93,029 crore in August, Rs 95,132 crore in September and Rs 85,931 crore in October.
The collections in November stood at Rs 83,716 crore, December (Rs 88,929 crore) and January (Rs 88,047 crore).