The Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGSTI) has identified two lounges and three consultancy firms in the city for collecting the tax from their customers but not depositing it with the government.
“Preliminary investigations have revealed that the firms engaged in chartered accountancy and consulting services collected GST worth Rs 13.5 crore from their customers and not deposited it with the government. During the searches, GST worth Rs 2 crore was recovered from them on the spot,” the DGGSTI stated.
In cases of lounges, the department found that they had collected GST on liquor as well even when it is outside the purview. “The department has told them to pay up immediately. We will serve them a show-cause notice and initiate penal action,” Vaishali Patange, deputy director, DGGSTI, Pune, said.
Patange said the lounges were also selling hookahs, but not paying GST on it. Hookah is under the GST purview. The department said it is not a case of just “blatant tax evasion,” but also a “fraud on the general public.”
One of the lounges had not registered for GST, despite having a turnover of Rs 6.5 crore. Registration is mandatory if the turnover exceeds Rs 20 lakh. “The owner has been told to ensure the registration immediately,” Patange said.