New Delhi, Dec 20 (IANS) With most states suggesting plugging of loopholes and stopping leakage instead of raising rates for higher GST mop-up, trade and businesses fear excessive scrutiny of their books and harassment.
The fear is also emanating from the fact that a higher monthly GST collection target has been set by the government, which may result in increased tax demands by the authorities.
Mahesh Jaising, a Partner at Deloitte India said that even before a higher collection target was set the industry has in the last few months been seeing a fair bit of scrutiny and investigation.
“They are calling upon the companies, looking at export revenues and saying that you may not export on this parameter or not. So, investigations have started sooner than later. That is the bigger worry that we have,” Jaising said.
With revenue shortfall emerging as a major area of concern threatening to alter government finances, the Centre has set a Rs 1.10 lakh crore monthly GST collection target in the remaining months of the fiscal with Rs 1.25 lakh crore target set for one of these months.
In the past eight months of FY20, the collection crossed Rs 1.10 lakh crore mark only in April with the remaining months witnessing mop-up only a tad above Rs 1 lakh crore or slipping below this mark.
Tax experts said that while industry is not apprehensive about government taking more measures to ensure that there is no fraud, they say that many compliant companies at times get into disputes.
In the 38th GST Council meeting on Wednesday, the all-powerful body decided not to raise rates or compensation cess as most states suggested better compliance and containing leakage as preferred option to augment revenue.
Accordingly, the Council decided to take suitable action for blocking of fraudulently availed input tax credit in certain situations to check the menace of fake invoices.
Tax experts said that with government spending rising the only option to raise revenue is raising the tax rates. If rates are not raised, the heat would obviously be on the current taxpayers for bolstering revenue.
Rajat Mohan, Senior Partner, AMRG & Associates said that many of their clients have in the last few months been served notices and have been asked to present detailed book of accounts since the implementation of the GST.
“I think the fear of industry is not misplaced,” Mohan said.
(Nirbhay Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])