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GST News Details

Indirect Tax Body Chairman Says Huge Gap in Filing, See Scope for Boosting GST Tax Base

The scope for boosting GST tax base of the indirect tax system is high, with a huge gap in its tax filing system, the Chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs, Vivek Johari has said.

Even though, there is no baseline to check how many have been evading paying GST taxes the Chairman is sure that the gap is wide enough to tap into.

“We can only make an intuitive comparison. If we compare GST tax base with direct taxes, there is clearly a huge gap,” he said at the CNBC-TV18 at a post-budget event on February 2.

While the department of Direct Tax has over 8 crore registered taxpayers, the indirect tax department has only about 1.4 crore, said Johari.

There are certain sectors including those dealing in B2C, import of services, that must register for GST but haven’t. “We are working on expanding taxpayer's base, we are trying to use technology to come at it,” adds Johari.

The department has also been working on compliances and has said that it will ramp up audits & scrutinize returns, while working collaboratively with states.

Meanwhile, the Central Board for Direct taxes (CBDT) has too been pursuing an attempt to raise income tax registrations. “While it is difficult to gauge as to how many are escaping the net, we have seen that the rate of annual growth in registrations has been about 5%. If we pursue technology & take up schemes unfolded during current financial year, the pace could be better,” said CBDT Chairman, Nitin Gupta.

New tax regime beneficial for all

There has been a constant debate on whether it is the new tax regime that should be followed, or the older one.

However, Gupta says that the new tax regime is a must and is beneficial for any taxpayer in terms of the money it is leaving in the hands of taxpayer. “They can decide how much money they want to invest and where,” he says.

Talking about the government’s perspective on how many will take up the new regime, he says, that the shift will take place at every level.

“For those earning up to 7.5 lakhs, the shift is definite. Those between the bracket of Rs 7 lakhs- 15 lakhs can decide as per their own investments. However, for anyone above 15 lakhs, our calculations show that it will be beneficial to everyone,” CBDT Chief.

The new tax regime will also be beneficial to authorities as it leaves almost no scope for wrongful deductions. “There were issues regarding compliances in the old tax regime. Evasions were noticed in certain cases because of wrongful deductions being claimed by taxpayers,” added Gupta.

Source : Money Control