NEW DELHI: The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has issued Standard Operation Procedure to deal with non-filers of GST returns. It may now lead to the attachment of bank accounts, properties and even cancellation of registrations “While the government has promised that it will not harass honest taxpayers, tax officials will not allow defaulters to go scot free. There are harsh provisions now and the tax officials, when required, may use it,” said a senior official, CBIC.
The decision was taken after witnessing a drop in the Goods & Services Tax (GST) collection. It has remained stagnant, even after two years of implementation, according to the official. He blamed tax evasion and GST fraud as the main reason for the poor collection.
The Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) issued by the CBIC, allows for provisional attachment under Section 83 of the Central GST Act. Under the section, the commissioner can attach property, including bank account of assessees. For this, he needs to pass an order in the specified form to that effect mentioning the details of property which is attached. Under the SOP, after the due date of return, a system-generated notice is sent to defaulters if the payment is not made on the due date.
If the dues have not been cleared after five days, a notice, issued under Form 3-A, is sent mandating that the payment be made within 15 days. Still, if the payment is not made after 15 days, an officer will evaluate the tax liability of the concerned individual and can then demand recovery of the returns after issuance of Form GST ASMT-13. If the defaulter clears the pending dues, the form will be withdrawn. If the returns are not filed as per the time given under Section 29, then the officer can initiate the cancellation of the registration.
Field officers can attach assets
The SOP issued by the finance ministry instructs field officers to provisionally attach the assets of registered GST assesses, including bank accounts, in cases they think it is needed to protect revenue interests of central and state authorities