March 1: This fiscal, the Union Government has come cross GST evasion cases worth Rs 20,000 crore. A senior tax officer was quoted as saying by a news report that the authorities are planning to take more steps to control frauds and increase compliance.
The report added that the department would call a meeting of the representatives of the real estate sector in order to analyze the transition issues, which the sector has had to encounter after the reduction in GST rates.
Previously this week, the GST Council, headed by Arun Jaitley, Finance minister together with its state partners agreed to reduce the taxes by five percent for the apartments and by one percent for affordable housing which is currently under- construction. But the credit for the taxes paid on inputs such as steel and cement cannot be claimed by the builders.
Earlier, the GST rate with an input tax credit for under-constructed apartments was at 12 percent. The same for the under-construction affordable housing was 8 percent.
John Joseph advised the real estate sector to move to the urban development ministry with the issue of providing ITC relief to the builders of the under-construction flats which are already built but not yet sold to buyers. He added that the revenue department cannot approve any such benefit of subsidy. He was talking at the event organized by Assocham.
Out of the Rs 20,000 crore worth GST evasion which was found in between April-February 2018-19, Rs 10,000 crore was recovered, according to John Joseph.
He added that on February 26 the tax officers noticed fake invoice worth Rs 1,500 crore using which a GST credit of Rs 75 crore was claimed illegally. He further said that Rs 25 crore from this was recovered and the rest is yet to be recovered.
He stated that only a minority of 5-10 percent is walking the illegal path and the department is to take more measures to tackle this. In future, as GST moves forward, the rates need to consolidate. Across the world, it is one rate, but it may not be possible for us to implement it here… because we have the poorest of the poor and the richest of the rich in the country.