The Central GST intelligence wing has identified 103 tax evaders in Telangana state who have defaulted the government to the tune of Rs 244.25 crore. From among the evaders, the GST enforcement has booked cases against 71 and recovered Rs 95.83 crore as on December 2018. Leonia resorts CMD is one among the 71 booked for not complying with the law. In Andhra Pradesh, the number of evaders was found to be 38, but the reported fraud amount was as high as Rs 359.01 crore. Businessmen collect GST from customers towards product or service provided, but do not pay the government. Instead, they use it for investment or divert it to other avenues. Across the country, commercials have defaulted GST worth Rs 12,766.8 crore, of which the enforcement wing recovered Rs 7,909.96 crore in 2017-18.
“Cases are booked by the state and central GST team,” said a senior officer with the central GST wing. “The number is high if the ones booked by the state GST are taken into consideration. Many defaulters collect GST from their customers but retain the same with them, besides diverting tax meant to be paid to the government for personal investments. Another modus operandi is to create bogus companies and fake bank accounts and use PAN and Aadhaar numbers of family members, employees or friends, to make transactions, show supply of goods and claim input-tax credit. This is mostly seen done by manufacturing companies and contractors.” According to the law, any defaulter evading GST to the tune of Rs 1 crore beyond 3 months is liable for punishment and bank accounts can be attached.
Asked how the GST office keeps track of transactions and tax evasions, an official said, “The office accepts feedback from various stakeholders. A separate GST network has been developed with various management information systems. This assists tax officers to analyse GST-related data. Tax officers are also given access to data like GST returns, refunds etc. from time to time through Safe File Transfer Protocol server. Further, there is considerable progress in the area of data analytics that would enable tax officers to use business intelligence tools to generate reports for analysis of information provided by the taxpayers.” Also, the Directorate General of Analytics and Risk Management, under the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, has been set up to deal with data analytics and processing for effective revenue generation.