Govt goes easy on GST scrutiny ahead of polls

Chennai: According to sources, tax authorities have put on hold for a few months scrutiny of GST compliance by businesses and traders to avoid unsettling the business and trading community before the crucial national polls due in April-May.

This is done despite a gaping hole in revenue receipts this fiscal year, and an ambitious 18 per cent growth forecast for 2019-20. The authorities will, however, continue to collect data on transactions from various sources, which will be useful once enforcement measures are scaled up.

The pause on anti-evasion measures till early July will help the government in several ways, especially to avoid unsettling the business and trading community before the crucial national polls due in April-May, according to sources. Besides, tax authorities will also have the annual returns, as well as audit report, for the first year (2017-18) of the tax reform by July. India would also have completed the two-year transition period of the largest tax reform since Independence.

However, it is expected that after the elections, enforcement will be stepped up. All data about registered businesses, the volume of transactions and those who do not file returns are captured by GST Network (the company that processes tax returns).

NT Bureau