• Notification Date: 21-06-2023
  • Notification No: N/A

GST Evasion worth Rs 30,000 crore Unearthed

A nationwide crackdown by the Goods and Services Tax authorities uncovered tax evasion to the tune of Rs 30,000 crore, allegedly carried out via stolen identities including as many as 18,000 Permanent Account Number (PAN) and Aadhaar cards, people familiar with the development said. 

The identities of beneficiaries of PM Kisan and other social security schemes were allegedly used to operate 4,000 shell companies and 16,000 fake GST registrations. The GST authorities launched the two-month anti-evasion exercise on May 16 and about 10,000 fake registrations were detected in the first week. 

The GST authorities have roped in other agencies including the Income Tax department, Enforcement Directorate and the ministry of corporate affairs, which are initiating separate actions against the individuals and firms involved in view of the organised nature evasion spread across 16 states. 
Tax authorities have carried out searches at multiple locations and have arrested seven persons in this connection. 
"It was a huge organised racket operating in 16 states creating shell companies and fake GST registration by stealing data from PM Kisan, Rural employment scheme and other schemes," a senior official told ET. 

These shell companies were used to generate fake bills, which were then sold to various companies to claim input tax credit. Three separate teams worked in a multi-state operation to create shell companies from stolen identities, generate fake e-way bills or fake invoices and supply invoices to companies that required them. 

The official said in some cases people had been made directors of the companies without their knowledge, which came to light after they received tax notices at their address. Authorities will soon send notices to companies that availed these fake invoices to claim input tax credit. 
The Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) has also recovered tax evasion in some cases, another official said. 

Gujarat state GST officials had first detected a fake invoice racket using stolen IDs at Bhavnagar and Surat following which a nationwide drive was launched. Similar operations were subsequently conducted in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab and Haryana. 
The official said field formations had been instructed to use documentary evidence before search and to take care that genuine businesses are not "harassed."