'This year's detection of frauds and probable recovery will be mainly driven by several compliance measures put in place, and amendments made to the GST regime to plug revenue leakages particularly in new-edge sectors.'
This financial year the Centre is expecting to recover evaded goods and services tax (GST) of over Rs 50,000 crore, more than double compared to FY23, officials have told Business Standard.
This could be the highest ever annual tax recovery, they said.
So far during FY24, the GST authorities have found Rs 1.36 trillion has been evaded. Of this, Rs 14,108 crore (Rs 141.08 billion) has been recovered.
During 2022-2023, an evasion of Rs 1.01 trillion was detected and Rs 21,000 crore (Rs 210 billion) was recovered.
A significant amount is expected to be recovered from wrongful input tax credit claims by insurance companies, GST payment on expat services under the reverse charge mechanism, clandestine clearances of tobacco products, and deals in immovable properties.
"In the previous years, fraudsters used several strategies such as undervaluing taxable goods and services to short-pay taxes, obtaining exemption notifications incorrectly, obtaining incorrect input tax credit, etc." an official said.
"However, this year's detection of frauds and probable recovery will be mainly driven by several compliance measures put in place, and amendments made to the GST regime to plug revenue leakages particularly in new-edge sectors," an official added.
He pointed out measures such as taxing crypto transactions, imposing a flat 28 per cent on online gaming, expanding the scope of OIDAR (Online Information Database Access and Retrieval) service providers including over the top platforms, and taxing expats working in India deputed by parent firms overseas.
Special drives by both the Centre and states have helped uncover a tax evasion of around Rs 20,000 crore (Rs 200 billion), which will also lead to good recovery, he said.
"The amount could be much higher if the Supreme Court upholds the plea of the GST authorities in online gaming matters," another official said.
Tax demands of about Rs 1 trillion were raised against egaming firms in the past few months.
The authorities are of the view that the service provided by egaming is on a par with betting and gambling and hence should be taxed at 28 per cent.
Online gaming firms such as Dream 11 and GamesKraft have moved court on this because they say those are games of skill and hence should be taxed at 18 per cent.
Besides, the GST authorities are anticipating a significant amount from blocked tax credit, a matter involving the construction of immovable properties.
The apex court has concluded the case and reserved the order.
According to the official data, the tax evaded between July 2017 and February 2023 is close to Rs 3.08 trillion, of which over Rs 1.03 trillion has been recovered.
The GST authorities had arrested 1,402 persons for evading taxes in the five and a half years till February 2023.
Between April 2020 and September 2023, more than 6,000 fake cases of input tax credit, involving more than Rs 57,000 crore (Rs 570 billion), were detected and 500 persons were arrested.
About 14,000 cases were detected in 2022-2023, up from 12,574 cases in 2021-22 and 12,596 cases in 2020-2021.
Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/Rediff.com