05.03.2024 FM Sitharaman asks GST officers to leverage tech to plug loopholes, better taxpayer services

New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday asked GST officers to leverage technology to plug loopholes and provide better taxpayer services. Inaugurating the first-ever National Conference of Enforcement Chiefs of the State and Central GST Formations, Sitharaman advocated for sharing of the emerging best practices, emphasising the need for seamless coordination across states in the larger national interest.

“The Union Finance Minister urged all the GST formations to leverage technology to plug the loopholes as well provide better taxpayer services,” an official statement issued after the meeting said.

She also stressed that clarity on the classification of related issues should be looked into at the earliest through appropriate channels.

Sitharaman also exhorted the GST officials to engage with stakeholders to understand their concerns, enhance compliance, streamline processes, and work collaboratively towards making the tax system more transparent and efficient.

In her address, Sitharaman stressed the significance of holding such meetings regularly among enforcement chiefs of the Centre and states, and to leverage this platform for discussing obstacles, exchanging successful strategies and collectively advancing towards a more robust and harmonious tax infrastructure.

Revenue Secretary Sanjay Malhotra emphasised the crucial role of enforcement in ensuring the success of the GST system.

Malhotra outlined key priorities – targeting high-risk areas, combating tax evaders, balancing enforcement with taxpayer rights, strengthening collaboration between central and state authorities, and gathering feedback for improvement in policy and technological interventions.

SoCentral Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) chairman Sanjay Kumar Agarwal said that fake entities and GST evasion not only erode revenue but also distort fair competition and fuel an underground economy.

He highlighted the importance of strong data analytics, the use of technology and the need to stay ahead of the perpetrators of GST evasion.

Agarwal also reminded the officers to follow the instructions issued by CBIC with respect to the procedure to be followed during enforcement action.

The nationwide crackdown on fake registrations and bogus billing from May 2023 alone has resulted in the detection of ITC tax evasion of Rs 49,623 crore, involving 31,512 bogus firms

CBIC officers have detected fake ITC evasion of Rs 1,14,755 crore from the year 2020 till date.

During the conference, Maharashtra state GST officers said they have identified 41,601 suspected non-genuine taxpayers, out of which 6,034 NGTPs were detected based on various intelligence gathered during registration, e-way bills and inputs from CBIC/other states and outlined the steps taken to improve detection rate at an early stage.

It was decided to conduct the National Conference of Enforcement Chiefs of State and Central GST Formations bi-annually moving forward, the statement added.



Source: The Economic Times

Register Today