Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Finance Minister. FILE | Photo credit: PTI
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman called on June 16 to tighten the process of registering entities under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime to weed out “bogus” businesses, some of which have even resorted to “identity theft”.
While providing an update on an ongoing two-month campaign by the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBIC) against false invoices made in an effort to evade GST assessments, the Minister was informed that no less than 11,140 “false registrations” had been identified. already, and action has been taken against them.
Revenue Secretary Sanjay Malhotra and CBIC Chairman Vivek Johri briefed Ms Sitharaman on the modus operandi adopted by unscrupulous elements to register under the GST, which included “impersonating persons “.
Ms. Sitharaman “took note of the existing measures taken by the ministry as OTP [One Time Password]-Aadhaar-based verification and pilot biometric-based Aadhaar authentication at check-in in high-risk cases,” the Ministry of Finance said.
While artificial intelligence and machine learning tools are also widely used to identify possible fake networks, the finance minister has asked officials to further “strengthen” the registration process to curb the entry of these fake entities in the GST ecosystem.
Ms. Sitharaman has also launched a nationwide campaign to explain the goals of the special campaign to weed out fake entities. The Department of Revenue’s campaign to combat tax evasion and false registrations will continue through July.
A new tax review system has already been introduced to prioritize cases with higher revenue implications for the attention of tax detectives. Furthermore, e-invoicing has been made mandatory for all businesses with an annual turnover of more than ₹5 crore from August 1 to tighten up any loose ends in the value chain.