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Risk parameters developed to audit taxpayers filing annual GST returns

GST audits were earlier scheduled to commence from July 1 for those taxpayers who have filed their GST annual return.

The audit department of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has developed risk parameters for selecting taxpayers to be audited on the basis of annual returns. However, the department has directed officials to move to desk-based filing for small taxpayers, instead of the traditional premise-based audits.

In a detailed letter on how to conduct audits, the department said premise-based audit still has to be conducted for medium and large category of taxpayers. Further, such audits should be undertaken in a time-bound manner to ensure completion within the stipulated time period of three months from the commencement of audit, it said.

GST audits were earlier scheduled to commence from July 1 for those taxpayers who have filed their GST annual return. However, the GST Council in its last meeting extended from the last date for filing audit forms to August 31. The audit plans shared with zonal heads of indirect tax said in case of insufficient number of taxpayers who file annual audit returns, central excise and service tax audits should continue.

The risk assessment plan has for conducting audit has divided taxpayers into three categories based on turnover. The audit list contains only those taxpayers who are under central (CGST) administration and have filed more than 3 GSTR-3B returns for FY 2017-18. However, for some audit commissionerates, the categories have been tweaked to ensure adequate representation of risky taxpayers in each category.

Further, it has been proposed that 40 per cent of available manpower should be deployed on larger taxpayers. While the list of taxpayers shared with each audit commissionerate contains about 80 per cent of the total taxpayers, many others falling in the balance 20 per cent might get picked up based on local risk factors. —FE

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