Under Goods and Services Tax (GST) system, the government has launched several provisions to detect and cure tax evasion in the nation. These provisions include inspection, search and seizure in GST pdf, and even arrest of any suspected tax evaders.
The topics covered in this article are:
Inspection basically means to examine a place or thing. It provides authorities access to business places and warehouses of taxpayers and transporters for examination. Inspection is based on ‘reasons to believe’. A reason to believe is a cause or determination that a certain event occurred after its proper study and evaluation. The reasons to believe don’t necessarily have to be recorded in writing. These reasons should not be disclosed to any tribunal authority or person.
An officer of high rank, mostly a Joint Commissioner, may have reasons to believe and is allowed to give permission to check that a person has attempted to evade tax if the person has committed acts like:
In such cases, the Joint Commissioner can appoint an officer in form GST INS-01 or INS-01 in GST form so as to inspect business places of:
Search and seizure under GST is a stricter version of inspection. It usually involves looking for a particular thing. A government official is given authorization to go to a particular place and look through it carefully to discover or find evidence or a disclosed thing. It cannot be done without valid authorization under the law.
A search can be ordered under GST by a Joint Commissioner of CGST/SGST or an officer superior to him if they have valid reason to believe:
Seizure is generally regarded as legally taking away possession of something from someone forcefully. An item can only be seized if proper investigation has been made against it and is still suspected to be liable for confiscation. The ownership remains with the owner but the possession is taken over by the department.
Any search or seizure must be made according to provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, which highlights that any search or seizure must be carried out in the presence of at least two independent witnesses. Once the Commissioner believes a person to be guilty of committing offence under Section 132, s/he can come under arrest.
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