10.07.2023: Government brings GSTN under PMLA, enables sharing of data with investigating agencies

The government has included the Goods and Services Tax Network on the list of entities mandated to share information with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The government on Friday notified changes to Section 66 of the Act to add GSTN as the 26th entity to the list. It will now have to disclose information to the ED and FIU if a probe falls under their jurisdiction or if the agencies require information for their investigation

The FIU and ED will also share information with the GSTN if they find the involvement of any GST assessee in suspicious forex transactions.
The move comes on the back of the ED initiating a probe into a fake GST registration case, where some people allegedly used stolen Permanent Account Numbers and Aadhaar to get GST registrations and set up shell entities for money laundering.
The central and state GST authorities had selected more than 60,000 GST Identification Numbers (GSTINs) for physical verification by field tax officers under a nationwide drive. Of these, over 50,000 numbers had been verified. As much as 25% of them were fake and the authorities have so far suspended over 11,000 GSTINs.
Apart from the ED and FIU, the list of entities that need to share information include the Competition Commission of India, Reserve Bank of India, Securities and Exchange Board of India, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India, Serious Fraud Investigation Office and Director General of Foreign Trade on it. The list is amended from time to time.
Source: The Economic Times 

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