‘Ola Cabs underpaid GST of Rs 2 crore’

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LUDHIANA: Central GST commissionerate Ludhiana’s anti-evasion wing and ANI Technologies, the parent company of Ola Cabs that has its office in the city, are caught in a tax tussle. While the commissionerate has accused the company of underpaying GST of Rs 2.31 crore from June 2017 to March 2018 for its operations in Punjab, the latter called the allegations baseless. The commissionerate says the firm issued two invoices instead of one to its customers and claimed input tax credit (ITC) against the rules.

Suspecting the company may have adopted a similar practice in other states as well, the commissionerate has intimated Central GST headquarters and also forwarded its report to the directorate general of GST intelligence (DGGI), Mangalore, where another case against the firm is going on. The DGGI has also been requested to probe the tax avoidance angle in all 23 states where the firm operates.

Ashutosh Baranwal, Ludhiana Central GST commissioner, said, “Ola was availing ITC on 18% GST collected by it, which is against the rules. According to the Central GST Act, the companies that fall under the category of electronic commerce operators (taxi aggregators) should issue a single tax invoice at 5% GST without claiming ITC or else they should issue tax invoice at 12% GST if they want to claim ITC. But Ola was not following either of this and issuing two invoices to its customers, one at 5% and another at 18%, which is not allowed as per law. Other cab aggregators, like Uber, charge 5% GST without taking ITC and issue single invoice.”

On June 15, the Ludhiana commissionerate had conducted a search at the Ferozepur Road office of the company after it was not satisfied with the total GST paid by it from June 2017 to March 2018, which was Rs 2.68 crore. As per the department, it should have been close to Rs 4.9 crore. An investigation ensued during which it was found that the company was issuing two invoices to its customers – one, on behalf of the cab driver on which 5% GST was charged and the second was issued on behalf of the company (Ola Cab) on which 18% GST was charged.

The TOI has learnt that Ola officers, who appeared before the investigators, said their company had nothing to do with the passenger transport service and that it was just a mobile app firm, so the rule of single invoice and charges of underpayment of tax do not stand against it.

Snigdha Mehrotra, a senior official of the company who had appeared at the department office, refused to comment on the issue.

Source : https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ludhiana/ola-cabs-underpaid-gst-of-rs-2-crore/articleshow/66209773.cms

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