30.03.2023: VAT cases: GST Dept serves notices on 8,000 assessees

In its assessment of old VAT cases for 2015-16 and 2016-17, the State GST Department has served notices on about 8,000 assessees in the state, 60-70 per cent of whom had not even been informed about the assessments, maintain the advocates of many industrialists.

Talking to The Tribune, advocate Arun Kanwal said the department has sent notices to 8,000 assesses, of which over 4,000 are in Ludhiana.

“After VAT was scrapped and the GST regime came into existence, many industrialists changed their accountants and CAs. The GST Department sent an email to the accountants and CAs regarding the assessment, but notices should have been handed over physically to assessees as they had changed their employees. The fact is that 70 per cent of the assessees are not even aware of the assessment procedure and now they have been left in the lurch as penalties are being levied. This is sheer harassment”, Kanwal said.

Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association (FOPSIA) president Badish Jindal has also written to the Chief Minister, requesting intervention in the matter.

“The GST Department sent notices and reminders of old VAT cases on the email IDs of lawyers and advocates who no longer work with the businessmen. The department never tried to verify if the assesses were receiving the notices or not. In most of the cases, the businesspersons did not receive them because either the old email IDs were inoperative or the advocates/ lawyers did not inform them,” Jindal said.

“After conducting these partial VAT assessments, the department imposed huge interest and penalties and started tracing the addresses and mobile numbers of these businessmen for tax recovery.”

He added that these assessments had been declared as time-barred and the assessees were denied of their right for reassessment of these cases. In the cases of deceased assesses, their dependents are being forced to deposit dues. In many cases, the penalties are so high that assesses are unable to deposit these taxes, he said.

Source: The Tribune 

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