As the fiscal year comes to a close, the indirect tax department is going whole hog on busting GST frauds to meet the tough revenue collection targets the department has set for its officers.
In a latest crackdown last week, officers of Anti-Evasion wing of Central Tax, Delhi West Commissionerate have busted a racket of fake invoicing of Rs 7,896 crore involving fraudulent input tax credit (ITC) of Rs 1,709 crore, and arrested two persons in this matter.
The accused persons allegedly created a network of 23 shell companies, which procured and generated invoices without actual supply of goods and availed as well as passed on ITC. This, according to the department, is probably the largest single case of ITC fraud.
In yet another case last week, Delhi East Commissionerate busted an ITC fraud involving fake invoices of Rs 436 crore. The accused persons created 17 fake firms to fraudulently claim ITC of Rs 11.55 crore.
In a note (dated 2 March) to the department officers, chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) Ajit Kumar has said that there is a need to intensify such steps to uncover fraudulent ITC and duty evasion. He says that all steps, technological or otherwise, need to be taken to detect such fraudsters.
Kumar also says that use of analytics and risk management has given a boost to fighting such unscrupulous elements and the introduction of e-invoicing would only strengthen the department's efforts in this regard.
He ends the note saying: "We are in the last month of the financial year, and needless to say all eyes are on revenue collections."
The revenue department had set a target of collecting Rs 3.45 lakh as GST in the last quarter of the financial year. In the first two month, the government has collected Rs 2.15 lakh crore, which means in the month of March, the collection has to be Rs 1.30 lakh crore. The highest monthly collection of GST has been Rs 1.13 lakh crore in April 2019.