Agent-official ‘nexus’ in tax dept, state losing 60% GST

Officials deny charge, say notices issued to check fake registrations

Agent-official ‘nexus’ in tax dept, state losing 60% GST

Ruchika M Khanna

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5

A Ludhiana-based industry and trade body has alleged large-scale corruption in the state taxation department in the name of registering traders for Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The All Industries and Trade Forum has alleged the state is losing 60 per cent of the State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) revenue because of the corruption, which prevents traders to self-register as taxpayers under GST.

The forum, in its complaint to Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, said applications filed by the traders to register as assessees were rejected, while applications filed through the agents were accepted. According to the forum, the traders trying to register themselves are allegedly issued “show-cause notices”, with claims that their applications are incomplete or the documents submitted online are unreadable.

They say the rate of issuing show-cause notices for assessees under SGST is 90 per cent, as compared to just 10 per cent under CGST.

“The network of the agents is so strong that no one can bypass them. It is only after an assessee pays anything between Rs5,000 and Rs10,000 to the agent that he can be registered,” alleged Badish Jindal, president of the forum.

Officials in the department told The Tribune there was a provision for deemed registration in GST where a person trying to register as an assessee was registered within three days of online application submission. “There could be some stray cases of applicants being issued show-cause notices. We will probe it. However, notices are being issued to ensure that no bogus registration takes place,” said a taxation officer.

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