NAGPUR: A last-minute special drive has helped the central GST collection to cross Rs 1 lakh crore mark in January, a rare achievement. The rigorous drive was launched from January 29 to 31 across the country. It led to a collection of Rs 1,500 crore in the three-day period, ultimately taking the total mop up to Rs 1.02 lakh crore, said sources.
Before this, the collections had crossed the Rs1 lakh crore mark in October and April 2018 only, said sources. The push also helped the centre improve its revenue in February, when the budget was tabled and there were apprehensions that the rate reduction would bring down collections.
The action has also led to closing in on non-filers and stop-filers of returns. The latter are those who have discontinued filing tax returns after a few months. The total number of assessees in these two categories comes to around Rs 15 lakh crore, said a source.
A major evasion was found in cases where the assessee has accepted GST liability in the first return but actually paid lesser amount subsequently. This is possible because the system of matching returns, as envisaged earlier for in GST regime, has not been put in place.
Suppose a businessman claims a liability of Rs 1 lakh in GSTR-1 returns, but in GSTR-3B, which is filed at the time of payment, the amount is reduced to Rs 50,000. Under the original system, the mismatch in two returns would have barred payment itself. Now, the returns are being physically checked to tally the amount. This has led to a major haul with assessees paying up after the difference is pointed out, said a senior official.
In Nagpur zone too, over Rs 60 crore were recovered during the three days. There was special focus on e-way bills, matching of returns, and probing the stop-filers and non-filers, said a source
“It was a concerted effort of all field offices, which led to the recovery. After this, the drive would further continue till March,” said director general of GST intelligence AK Pandey.
Meanwhile, the newly formed Directorate General of GST Intelligence (GSTI) is conducting one raid almost every three days. The Nagpur zone of the agency became functional in December 2018, and till date close to 30 raids have taken place. Sources say the tax sleuths have gained success in every action with businessmen accepting the liability and paying up.
With this, since December, the Nagpur zone, which covers Vidarbha, Marathwada and Khandesh regions of the state, has made recoveries to the tune of Rs 100 crore. There has been a major jump in collections on month-to-month basis also, said sources.
Source- Times of India.