BHUBANESWAR: Odisha government has decided to go for proper scrutiny of returns of real estate developers to prevent tax evasion and ascertain the genuineness of the turnover disclosed by them and payment of tax. The decision was taken following allegations from a large number of apartment owners regarding collection of tax and non-deposit of the same in the government account during VAT/GST period.
Acting on the complaints, returns filed by a few big developers were scrutinised by the Enforcement Wing of GST. Basing upon market intelligence and result of scrutiny, search and inspection of the business premises of some of the real estate developer were also undertaken.
The inspection revealed some of the real estate developers having turnover of more than Rs 100 crore have shown nil turnover in their VAT returns. Though they have collected VAT at two per cent on gross value of the apartment, the amount has not been deposited in the government account.
While some of them were found to have collected VAT on the strength of money receipt and not through invoice with an intention to evade payment of tax, a few of them have filed return showing all taxable turnovers as tax exempted turnover with a motive to not pay any tax to the government. One of the developers has shown the intra-state transaction as inter-state transaction.
In order to cover all such tax payers in this sector, necessary data from Odisha Real Estate Regulatory Authority (ORERA) has been obtained to scrutinise the tax compliance of real estate developers operating in different parts of Odisha.
Investigations with regard to the genuineness of disclosed turnover, ITC availed payment of tax in cash in respect of 12 developers (up to June 2017) have been completed by the Enforcement Wings and reports have been submitted. Basing upon the report, the jurisdictional officers have already raised demand worth of Rs 38 crore till March 31 in eight cases.
Commissioner of CT and GST Sushil Kumar Lohani has asked for scrutiny of returns, adjudication and collection of demanded tax from defaulters at the earliest and ensure that no genuine taxpayer is put into any kind of harassment during the drive.