CBIC has issued GST Audit Manual 2019

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The CBIC has issued GST audit Mannual 2019 after approval by the BoardThe Board vide its letter F. No. 221/03/2013 – CX-6 dated August 30, 2018 requested to Directorate General to prepare a manual on Audit in GST for the consideration of the Board. Accordingly, a committee consisting of officers from the zonal units of this Directorate General and other officers from the Headquarters was constituted to get feedback on the proposed audit manual from the Audit Commissionerates in their jurisdiction. Inputs were also informally obtained from GSTN for the Audit Manual.

1. The purpose of this Audit Manual is to outline the principles and policies of audits conducted under the CGST ACT, 2017 and the Rules made there under. Guidelines provided herein are intended to ensure that the audit of taxpayers is carried out in a uniform, efficient and comprehensive manner, adhering to the stipulated principles and policies and as per best international practises.

2. We would like to emphasize that the manual does not deal with legal interpretations and rulings on GST matters. Future changes in the CGST ACT 2017 and the Rules made thereunder, administrative policies and procedures may require changes to this manual. Experience gained during the conduct of audit would also necessitate periodic updating of the manual to maintain its utility.

Some of the highlights of Good and Service Tax Audit Manual 2019 (“GSTAM”), are as under :-

i. Formation of Audit Commissionerates and Cadre Restructuring has brought new designations and roles of officers. Hence necessary changes have been carried out with regard to the designations like Principal Chief Commissioner and Principal Commissioner and the new roles and responsibilities of the officers of Executive Commissionerate and Audit Commissionerate. These have been suitably incorporated.

ii. The norms for selection of units for conducting audit were revised effecting a paradigm shift in the existing criterion for selection of units based on amount of duty paid to total turnover. The new norms include, selection of units based on risk parameters, days for audits and formation of audit parties. These have been incorporated in this manual. Role of DGARM in running the Risk Analysis Programme has been emphasised.

iii. The audit process beginning from the Assessee Master File, desk review, revenue risk analysis, trend analysis, gathering of information, evaluation of internal controls, scrutiny of annual financial statement, audit plan, audit verification, working papers, apprising the Taxpayer about irregularities noticed and ending with suggestions for future compliance have been streamlined and brought under one chapter. The repetitions in the earlier audit manuals have been removed.

iv. Separate Annexures have been prepared containing detailed verification checks pertaining to GST. The annexures have been developed in consultation with field formations which also include capturing the results of Desk Review. The annexures containing lengthy information to be filled in by taxpayers have been discontinued.

3. Due care has been taken in drafting the GSTAM, 2019 and suggestions and feedbacks received from field formations and Zonal Units of this Directorate General were extensively deliberated and suitably incorporated.

The Complete GST Audit Manual 2019 – GSTAM can be accessed at: http://www.a2ztaxcorp.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/GST-Audit-Manual-2019-Final.pdf