Only way to increase revenue is to plug the leakage, curb fake GST invoices

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Concerned with the dwindling tax collections under the GST, the Modi government has embarked on one of the most comprehensive review of a nationwide common goods and services tax (GST) so far. It has constituted a committee of 12 central and state officers to thoroughly review the tax rate and other issues. The committee has also held its first meeting in Delhi last week. The review was ordered in the wake of a steep decline in GST collections last month when it went below Rs 92,000 crore, the lowest in the last 19 months and the second-lowest since its implementation in July 2017.

A slowing economy and several rate cuts announced over the last two years were blamed for the less than expected GST collections. The taxpayer-friendly measures have been taken for granted by the trade, industry, and professionals quite often and the only way to increase the GST revenue is to plug the leakage, said, two tax experts. “The only way to increase the revenue is to plug the leakage,” said Ved Jain, former President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. 

The Union government has received complaints about the use of fake GST invoices to fraudulently claim the Input Tax Credit (ITC) under the GST. The GST was designed to avoid the cascading of taxes by providing a mechanism to claim the refund of taxes paid during the earlier stages of production. However, it has become one of the most often used routes to evade tax by using fake GST bills.

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