The monthly Goods and Services Tax (GST) collections touched a new high as the gross revenue under the indirect tax regime collected in the month of January 2021 till 6PM on January 31, 2021 stood at Rs 1,19,847 crore. This is 8.14 per cent higher than Rs 1,10,818 crore in the same month last year. In December 2020, the total GST collection was Rs 1,15,174 crore.
Out of Rs 1,19,847 crore, Central GST (CGST) is Rs 21,923 crore, State GST (SGST) is Rs 29,014 crore, IGST is Rs 60,288 crore (including Rs 27,424 crore collected on import of goods) and Cess is Rs 8,622 crore (including Rs 883 crore collected on import of goods). The total number of GSTR-3B returns filed for the month of December up to January 31, 2021 is 90 lakh.
After IGST settlement between the Centre and the states - Rs 24,531 crore transferred to the Centre and Rs 19,371 crore to the states - total revenue earned by the central government and the state governments in January stands at Rs 46,454 crore and Rs 48,385 crore, respectively.
According to a government statement, GST revenues above Rs 1 lakh crore for last four months at a stretch and a steep increasing trend over this period are clear indicators of rapid economic recovery post pandemic. Closer monitoring against fake-billing, deep data analytics using data from multiple sources including GST, Income-tax and Customs IT systems, and effective tax administration have also contributed to the steady increase in tax revenue over last few months.
The average YoY growth in GST revenue over the first four months in the second half of the financial year has been 8 per cent as compared to (-)24 per cent during the first half of the year.
So far the Director General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) has arrested 274 persons in a nationwide drive against fake GST invoice frauds in last two and a half months since mid-November 2020. There are eight Chartered Accountants and one Company Secretary among these 274 persons arrested so far. At least two persons have been booked under COFEPOSA (Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act).
The drive by GST intelligence and CGST authorities is ongoing with more than 2,700 cases booked against around 8,500 fake GSTIN entities as of now. Authorities have recovered more than Rs 858 crore from these fraudsters.
Department of Revenue sources said that with data sharing among GST, Customs and Income Tax departments, and use of data analytics and Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning tools, the GST intelligence authorities have been able to identify those indulging in tax evasion through various means including fake bills and also those availing these bills through layers of intermediaries. It is through such systemic changes, the department has now been able to take targeted actions against fraudsters and tax evaders. It is with these measures that the DGGI has not only been able to unearth the fake firms but also the final beneficiaries of ITC frauds.
MS Mani, Senior Director, Deloitte India, said that in addition to the sustained economic revival witnessed in the past few months, the increased GST collections are also on account of the initiatives taken by the tax administration to curtail evasion, monitor input tax credits and build taxpayer profiles based on other databases.
"The surge in GST collections observed during the past four months is expected to be sustained in the coming months of the current fiscal with more of service sector activities like aviation, hospitality, entertainment etc opening up across states since January 21," he said.
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