Around 3,500 exporters are under government’s lens whose customs records are not matching with their income tax returns. While another three percent traders are under the radar due to a discrepancy in goods and services tax (GST) filings. The Central Board of Indirect Tax and Customs (CBIC) on Monday, had issued instructions seeking checks on refund of integrated GST paid to the exporters. This step is aimed at curbing the misuse by exporters and unlikely to impact genuine players, cited ToI. The national publication quoted a tax official as saying, “We are not opening every consignment or stopping refunds, but there has to be some check on those who are misusing the trust reposed in them. Traders who have clean transactions have nothing to fear and will not face any hardship.” An officer explained that there are around 12 lakh registered exporters and importers with nearly 1.5 lakh being active. Of that, 3,500 are under scrutiny for possible wrongdoing.
A financial triangulation has helped the tax authorities to identify those evading taxes by matching their GST database with information available with the income tax and customs departments. But now, the revenue department has decided to focus on data-mapping to identify the wrong-doers without resorting to search and seizure operations kind of intrusive methods. The analysis of CBIC shows that this problem may be concentrated with small exporters, specifically individuals or partnership firms, especially those with few consignments going out. During the last fiscal, for instance, 85 percent of the entities who imported goods into the country had less than 24 bills of entry with nearly 60 percent importing less than five consignments annually. The tax authorities data revealed that around 60 percent of the active players were individuals and firms.