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Plugging loopholes: Income tax dept to share taxpayer info with GST

FE Bureau

In what would ensure a systematic and formalised exchange of information between direct and indirect tax departments, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Tuesday appointed a nodal officer to oversee flow of taxpayer s data to the Goods and Services Network (GSTN) which is the IT backbone for GST.
Earlier this year, the income-tax department had released new return forms for assessment year 2019-20, which require the taxpayers to provide additional business details including total income, turnover ratio and other GST payment related information.

The GSTN can now approach the IT department and request for exchange of information related to assessee through the nodal officer. The information can be on status of filing of income tax returns, turnover declared and gross total income among others.

Further, spontaneous and automatic exchange of data would also occur under specific conditions which would be decided by concerned authorities, the CBDT order said.
While furnishing the information, the specified income-tax authority shall form an opinion that sharing such information is necessary for the purposes of enabling the specified authority in GSTN to perform its function under the Goods and Service Tax, the CBDT order said.

The exchange of information would be contingent on the agreement entered into by the nodal officers of the GSTN and IT department. The agreement would dictate norms for exchange of data and maintenance of confidentiality, mechanism for safe preservation of data, weeding out after usage among other aspects.

Rakesh Nangia, managing partner at Nangia Advisors(Andersen Global), said: With more information in hand, the government would be able to validate amount of income disclosed both under the income-tax and GST which would enable the authorities to identify any under-reporting / non-reporting of income, if any. Though, the order provides extensive powers to specified authority for providing information but it has to follow a well-defined protocol to ensure fair practices.

Tata Starbucks found guilty of profiteering `4.51 cr

The GST investigative arm has found Tata Starbucks guilty of profiteering to the tune of `4.51 crore by not reducing prices of coffee despite a cut in the rate.

Investigation by the Directorate General of Anti Profiteering (DGAP) has revealed that Tata Starbucks, the equal joint venture between the Tata and global coffee chain Starbucks, had hiked the base price of one its coffee variant after the GST Council cut tax rates on restaurants from 18% to 5% with effect from November 15, 2017.