NEW DELHI: A special drive initiated by the Central Board of Indirect
and Customs (
) to weed out fake accounts registered with GST Network has revealed that nearly a quarter of the identified entities do not exist or have vanished, after availing benefits of almost Rs 15,000 crore.
While the authorities used artificial intelligence and data analytical to identify around 69,000 suspects, so far, the two-month exercise that carries on till the middle of the month has found out till now that there were 17,000 fake accounts, which cornered bogus input tax credit.
The role of entities in the chain, including some big names in business, is under the scanner. For instance, a leading food delivery service provider is said to have availed of manpower services from entities which were found to be bogus. Even when the exercise was undertaken earlier, similar cases had come to light.
Government sources told TOI that Delhi has the highest success rate, or the largest number of fakes detected from the list of suspect registrations.
Based on the latest crackdown, CBIC now proposes to undertake a periodic exercise to ensure that benefits are not misused. Besides, it is looking to tighten some of the norms, by withdrawing flexibilities that had been given to pay taxes by amending returns filed by a supplier to ease burden due to pandemic.
“There are some decisions that have already been taken by the GST Council on the issues, we will implement them. The idea is to ensure that leakages are prevented,” a senior official said.
The issue is also expected to come up at the next meeting of the GST Council, where the details will be shared with the state finance ministers. Officials, however, ruled out fresh tightening of registration norms, arguing that the idea was to make the process smooth for honest taxpayers, instead of burdening them with higher compliance.
The suspects were identified by the tax authorities after careful scrubbing of the database, which includes 1.4 crore GST payers.