30.04.2024: CBIC develops common bank audit plan for central, state GST officers

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has brought out common norms for central and state level Goods and Services Tax (GST) officials to audit banks, CBIC chairperson Sanjay Kumar Agarwal told field officers.

The move gives more certainty about audit procedures to banks as officials would have a common audit plan to go by. The common minimum audit plan for banks, issued in April, provides guidelines to help audit officers, both from the Centre and the states, to function in an “efficient, focused, transparent and coordinated manner,” Agarwal said in a communication posted on CBIC’s website.

Agarwal called the common audit plan a “stellar example” of the synergy between the Centre and the states in implementing the indirect tax.

More predictable

Mint had reported on 22 January 2023 that the Central and state governments were working on making GST audits uniform across the country which would make scrutiny of GST compliance more predictable for businesses and ensure consistency of audits of different units across the country.

GST audits are meant to check the correctness of declared sales, taxes paid, refunds claimed and input tax credit availed by going over the tax returns and other records maintained by businesses. A mismatch could raise a red flag.

Agarwal also informed field officers about a new agreement signed by the authorities in India and Australia for greater “trust-based” facilitation of merchants from both the countries.  Customs authorities in India and Australia have agreed to have mutual recognition of their authorized economic operators (AEO) programmes that extend certain privileges to trusted merchants. 

AEO programmes facilitate ease of doing business. Agreements with other countries for mutual recognition of these schemes extend the scope of the privileges to merchants and brokers engaged in international trade.

These privileges include faster clearance of shipments at ports, lower inspection charges, quicker tax refunds, facility for deferred duty payment and acceptance of self-declaration of origin of goods. Signing MRAs enables merchants from India to avail of these benefits in the country signing an MRA with India.

Source: Live Mint

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