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GST matching with income-tax, plus eye on gold trail to power collections

New Delhi, Feb. 13 (PTI): Revenues from the Goods & Services Tax could cross Rs 1 lakh crore a month by end-March 2019, way above the budgeted figure, as the government begins matching tax data, tracking gold imports and implementing e-waybills, finance ministry officials said on Tuesday.

The government has budgeted conservatively for about Rs 7.44 lakh crore from GST for the full year to March 31, 2019.

”We will soon start matching of the turnover shown in GST returns with the income returns filed with the I-T department. It could begin by second half of next financial year,” a senior finance ministry official said.

The estimated collection for eight months (July-February) of the current fiscal is Rs 4.44 lakh crore. The March collection will take place in April, the start of the 2018-19 financial year.

Once the GST return filing process stabilises completely, the Directorate General of Analytics and Risk Management (DGARM) will be put to action for 360 degree profiling and match the database of people filing GST with income-tax returns, they said.

Collections under the GST, implemented from July 1 last year, were over Rs 95,000 crore for the first month, while in August the figure just over Rs 91,000 crore. In September, it was over Rs 92,150 crore, October (Rs 83,000 crore), November (Rs 80,808 crore) and December (Rs 86,703 crore).

As of December 2017, 98 lakh businesses were registered under the GST regime.

”Once these measures are put in place, there is no reason why GST revenues would not average Rs 1 lakh crore every month,” he added.

Another official said that the focus of the department will also be on plugging the gaps in the gold and jewellery industry.

”Gold imports have been rising every month despite a 10 per cent customs duty. But where is this imported gold channelled to? With GST in place, the revenue authorities now have the power to seek details about end supplies,” the official said.

Import of gold attracts a 10 per cent basic customs duty. On top of that a 12.5 per cent countervailing duty (CVD) was levied prior to GST. Since GST subsumed CVD, hence the GST rate on gold at 3 per cent has to be paid at the time of imports in the form of Integrated GST with effect from July 1.

India is the world's second biggest gold consumer after China. The import mainly takes care of the demand of the jewellery industry.

The official said that once the system stabilises, the intelligence agencies within the revenue department could better monitor end usage of the imported gold.

”DGARM would be utilised to provide intelligence inputs and do big data analytics for taxmen for better policy formulation and taking action against tax evaders,” he said.

Set up under the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), DGARM will use internal and external sources for detailed data mining and risk management.

According to the data on GST returns filed by companies opting for composition scheme, as many as 5 lakh companies reported such a turnover which works out to annual sales of Rs 5 lakh only.

Out of 10 lakh businesses which opted for the composition scheme during the July-September period, about 7 lakh have filed GST returns for the quarter.

Businesses with turnover of up to Rs 20 lakh are exempt from the GST regime.

The official further said that currently, there is little tracking of goods movement from one state to another and the e-way bill would act as a tool to check tax evasion as then movement of stock and its end use would be monitored.

Electronic waybill is for the movement of goods and can be generated on the GSTN (common portal). Movement of goods of more than Rs 50,000 in value cannot be made by a registered person without an e-way bill. 

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