NEW DELHI: The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has detected good and services tax (GST) evasion amounting to more than Rs 400 crore in a country-wide crackdown at more than 100 premises.
Among the top alleged defaulters identified by Directorate General of Goods and Services Tax Intelligence (DGGI) on March 27 are Sarvana, a multibrand retailer (evasion of Rs 55 core), Vishnu Cars (Rs 45 crore evasion) and Narayani Ispat (Rs 40 crore evasion), director general John Joseph told ET.
Most of the business entities, especially in iron, steel, coal, automobile dealership and retail, were found to have collected GST but not passed it on to the government leading to a fall in tax collections.
During a search, DGGI found Krishnapatnam Port in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh had allegedly held back nearly Rs 70 crore in GST collections, a senior officer said.
But authorities manning the private port told the raiding party that their activities were not taxable under the GST Act, a claim refuted by DGGI officials, the officer said. In the raids, sleuths also netted additional Rs 50 crore in central excise and service taxes companies had not paid.
The CBEC has been pushing its officers to ensure that entities that have not filed returns fall in line. Joseph said Rs 40 crore has already been deposited since Tuesday’s raids and more entities are expected to pay the tax amount they evaded. After going through the records, investigators found out that evasion was taking place since July 2017 when the new tax regime was rolled out.
The DGGI has warned of more action in the near future if entities do not file returns on time.
“By look at 100 out of one crore registered indirect taxpayers, we have detected GST evasion of Rs 400 crore. Imagine the total amount of the evasion in the country,” a DGGI officer said.
Initially, government did not go after tax evaders owing to technical and other adjustment issues that had cropped up during the transition to the new tax order. Nine months later, enforcement was needed to send a strong message to tax evaders, sources said.