India digs out Rs 62,000 cr GST evasion in 3 years
New Delhi: Tax authorities have detected over â‚¹62,000 crore worth of goods and services tax (GST) evasion, using fake invoices during the past three years, said a top official of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) on Monday.
Activities of some unscrupulous traders came to notice when the government kept such offences out of the increased monetary threshold of â‚¹2 crore in the recent GST Council meeting.
“We have seen some fraudulent activities by a handful of unscrupulous traders who create fake invoices by showing bogus e-way bills and movement of goods. We found such activities after the recent GST Council meeting,” official said.
When asked about the modus operandi of tax officers on tracing such fraudulent activities, the official said it was different to trace them since the entities are registered across different states and they kept changing their numbers from time to time.
“The amount of tax evasion could be more in the coming days if this practice was not checked properly,” the official said.
Since 2020, the GST authorities at the central level have arrested over 1,030 individuals, who used fake invoices to illegally avail or pass on input tax credit.
The number of cases and amount involved would be much more at the aggregate level as state GST is different.
In the recent GST Council meeting, the Council had approved doubling the threshold to â‚¹2 crore for initiating criminal proceedings for various offences under GST, except those involving fake invoices, as part of its decriminalisation drive. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman is expected to announce the date on which this change is expected to come into force.
As of now, the tax evader could be imprisioned for three years, if the amount of tax evaded exceeds â‚¹2 crore, but is less than â‚¹5 crore. If tax evaded is more than â‚¹1 crore, but less than â‚¹2 crore, the incarceration period is one year.