09.04.2024: Central & state GST officials to conduct joint audits of firms

Central and state goods and services tax (GST) officials will jointly conduct audits of businesses under the indirect tax regime from this financial year, a relief for taxpayers as it will weed out duplicate notices and dual investigations.

As per industry estimates, there are about 11,000 such cases of dual investigation by both the central and state authorities or under litigation. Several central GST zonal heads have sent an internal communique to officials, asking them to invite state officials to join their ongoing audits for better coordination, said 
Such coordination for audit was suggested during the national coordination meeting held last month to streamline tax investigation, said officials, who did not wish to be identified. The communique added that officers from central GST may join the state GST audit teams.

“This exercise will strengthen the capacities of SGST officers in audit and also enable officers to exchange critical compliance-related information with each other,” it said.

The Central Board of Indirect taxes and Customs (CBIC) has asked every zone to prepare their own framework for such joint audits.

“A general message was conveyed to zonal heads who will implement it in their jurisdiction accordingly,” said another official, adding that it would save time and human resources.

The initiative is expected to result in a fairer and more effective audit process, said experts.
“This can reduce the chances of duplication of efforts and ensure that taxpayers are not subjected to multiple audits for the same issues.”

The CBIC has asked its field officers to drop investigation into offences that state GST officials are already looking into or regarding which they have issued notices.

Source: The Economic Times 

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