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No forceful ‘recovery’ of unpaid tax, GST department to officers

As per the GST law, a taxpayer can voluntarily pay unpaid taxes or in response to the show-cause notice raised by the GST department by filing the voluntary tax payment form DRC-03.

Published: 26th May 2022 12:15 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th May 2022 12:15 PM   |  A+A-

GST

Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)

Express News Service

After multiple cases of use of force and coercion by GST officers came to the fore, the GST department has barred tax officers from recovery of unpaid taxes during the course of search or inspection unless voluntarily done so by taxpayers.

In an internal department note addressed to principal commissioners/commissioners of Central GST (all zones), the commissioner, GST Investigation, has said that there may not be any circumstances necessitating recovery of tax dues during the course of search or inspection or investigation proceedings.

The note further says that if taxpayers make any complaint against a tax officer for use of coercion or force to get any amount of tax deposited during a raid, strict disciplinary action will be taken against such a tax officer.

The note, however, clarifies that a taxpayer can voluntarily make payments of tax liabilities ascertained by him or when apprised by tax officers during or after the course of raids by following due legal proceedings.

As per the GST law, a taxpayer can voluntarily pay unpaid taxes or in response to the show-cause notice raised by the GST department by filing the voluntary tax payment form DRC-03.

This instruction by the GST department to its tax officer is significant given the rise in the number of cases of harassment by GST officers who resort to violence against taxpayers to recover unpaid taxes during raids. 

Gujarat and Telangana High Courts have taken cognisance of such matters in the past and asked GST officials to refrain from using violence and coercive methods against taxpayers. 



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