Tax officials took action against 7,000 GST evaders, arrested 187 in 2020
Tax officials arrested 187 GST evaders and initiated action against 7,000 entities in December 2020, Finance Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey has said. Among the 187 arrested, five were chartered accountants and one company secretary, Pandey added.
The finance secretary revealed there are also large companies that were embroiled in fake invoicing rackets thereby evading GST and Income Tax.
"Many of them including some managing directors are in jail for the last 40-50 days. There are few large companies which too are found involved in taking fake bills through multiple layers, thereby evading GST and income tax. So they have also been booked," Pandey said.
According to Pandey, the officials were able to arrest tax evaders because of the data taken from agencies like Income Tax Department, Customs unit, FIU and GST department, and banks.
"The action against those who try to misuse the system, he said, has been based on collating information from such agencies," Pandey added.
"We have taken action against 7,000 evaders out of a tax base of 1.20 crore. Hence our success rate is very very high," said Pandey.
The revenue Secretary said from April 1, e-invoice would be made mandatory for all B2B transactions by businesses with a turnover of over Rs 5 crore.
On October 1, 2020, the government made electronic invoice mandatory for businesses with turnover over Rs 500 crore, and for over Rs 100 crore turnover from January 1.
The GST collections surged to an all-time high of over Rs 1.15 lakh crore in December as economic activities picked up after lifting of stringent lockdown restrictions. The highest GST collection to date was Rs 1,13,866 crore in April 2019.
Pandey said December has seen record collection since the GST implementation, which can be attributed to two factors. "The trend suggests that the economy is picking up and we are seeing faster pace of recovery," he said.
"Also the measures like e-invoice, pre-population of information on supplier wise input tax credit, which deter those who are trying to claim excess ITC, are helping compliance. By targeted action against tax evaders by way of full data analytics, it is possible to pinpoint the entity which issued fake bill and also the ultimate beneficiary," he added.
Source: Business Today