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Fake invoices fraud: Tax dept issues SOP for physical verification of GST registrants

Fake invoices fraud: Tax dept issues SOP for physical verification of GST registrants

This SOP would effectively curb the fake invoices menace and ITC frauds while at the same time would ensure proper facilitation of ease of doing business for the genuine entities without any overreach

Tax dept issues SOP to curb fake invoices menace and ITC frauds Tax dept issues SOP to curb fake invoices menace and ITC frauds

As a part of its strategy to counter GST fake invoice frauds, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) under the Department of Revenue (DoR) has come out with Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to be followed by the tax officers for carrying out the physical verification of the entities that have been granted a deemed GST registration sans Aadhaar authentication.

Sources said that this SOP would effectively curb the fake invoices menace and ITC frauds while at the same time would ensure proper facilitation of ease of doing business for the genuine applicants/entities without any overreach. This is the further follow up of the high level review meeting that was held in DoR recently.

CBIC sources in the know of the matter said that an entity having deemed registration where the applicant either has not opted for Aadhaar authentication or where such authentication has failed, has to go for mandatory physical verification of the premises, or in cases where the physical verification is difficult, certain additional documents may be called for verification by the tax officer (upon approval of an officer not below the rank of Joint Commissioner) before deciding upon grant of registration.

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According to CBIC sources, the board in instruction to its field formations has said that the registrations granted sans Aadhaar authentication during the period from 21 August 2020 to 16 November 2020 on deemed basis required verifications to ascertain that they have a genuine business or intends to carry out so. All such deemed registrations would be subjected to compulsory post-registration verification and the list of such deemed registrations would be circulated zone-wise to the field formations for confirmation which has to be completed in a time-bound manner within 3 weeks and a weekly status report has to be submitted to the board.

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Sources said that in case of pending physical verification, notice in FORM REG-17 may be issued in specific cases based by the proper officer on certain risk parameters seeking an explanation from the registered person regarding the differences and anomalies noticed, if any, where FORM GSTR-1 is filed and FORM GSTR-3B is not filed either for August or September 2020 tax period and where the difference in tax amount, as reported in FORM GSTR-1 and FORM GSTR-3B is more than Rs. 1 lakh (R1>R3B). On receipt of the reply to the notice, the proper officer would complete the proceedings as per the CGST Rules. Also, in the interest of revenue, the tax officer in addition to the physical verification may further carry out the preliminary financial verification of the registrants by seeking certain documents.

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