Nearly 6,000 errant exporters have been identified and fraudulent claims may be to the tune of Rs 16,000 crore.
NEW DELHI: In order to curb the growing number of cases of fraudulent claims for Integrated GST (IGST) refunds under the Goods and Services Tax regime by hundreds of errant exporters, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) is likely to introduce stricter norms for availing IGST refunds.
Sources in the CBIC have confirmed that the department has been working on a strategy to curb revenue leakage by way of bringing stricter norms for disbursing IGST refunds to exporters, as there have been growing cases where IGST claims of hundreds of exporters have been found to be fraudulent.
“The Centre, in coordination with the state governments, will formulate a full-fledged policy which will enable the CBIC, the nodal agency working to deal with GST across the country, plug revenue leakage and prevent corrupt exporters from availing ITC (input tax credit) based on fraudulent claims,” a source close to the CBIC told The Sunday Guardian. “Some of the measures that will taken include the linking of remittances received by the exporters with the IGST refunds, compulsory same bank use for getting the refunds, close tab on new exporters, a periodic audit of the refunds claims and investigation in fraudulent cases by the Income Tax department (I-T) and Enforcement Directorate (ED), besides others,” the same source cited above said. According to sources, so far, the CBIC has identified nearly 6,000 errant exporters who are under the scanner of the department and the fraudulent refunds claim made by these exporters could be to the tune of around Rs 16,000 crore.
The measures to plug revenue leakage are being charted out at a time when the collection of revenue under the GST regime has so far not been on expected lines. Also, recently, the Ministry of Finance under Nirmala Sitharaman has set the GST tax collection target at Rs 1.1 lakh crore for January and February. Meeting the new target of revenue collection has become a burden for GST officials and they are not letting any stones unturned to meet the target.
On the condition of anonymity, a CBIC official told The Sunday Guardian: “The modus operandi of these exporters has been to generate bogus invoices for exports of goods and later, based on such invoices, these exporters claim IGST refunds. Many of such errant exporters were raided by the investigative agencies, like the I-T and ED. We have witnessed a similar case where a Mumbai-based exporter had fraudulently made refunds claim of Rs 300 crore.” As per the CBIC, the Centre and states are also working to fix the problems being faced by honest traders in availing refunds claims and filling up of GST returns. The CBIC has already speeded up the disbursement of the refund of genuine claims.