Tax arrears of Gujarat industrial units at Rs 30,000 crore

Tax arrears of Gujarat industrial units at Rs 30,000 crore

The combined tax arrears of over 48,000 industrial units in Gujarat stood at Rs 30,000 crore as on June 30, 2019. Official sources in the state finance department said the taxes that remained unpaid include sales tax and value added tax (VAT) for the period before the introduction of the goods and services tax (GST) in 2017. Of these units, there are nearly 6,400 units with tax bills of more than Rs 10 lakh.

The figure includes long-pending dues, says PD Vaghela, commissioner of commercial tax, adding that over 50% of these units have gone for appeal mostly in sales tax and VAT related cases.

“We have formed teams to speed up the recovery process of these bills. Some of the units have not even paid taxes over the period of 15 years and more. Some units have closed down, but the authorities are in the process of slapping notices to owners of these industrial units,” said a senior official. Interestingly, many units failed to pay even GST, despite the fact that there are strict provisions including that of jail terms.

Vadodara tops the list of defaulting industrial units with unpaid taxes over Rs 10 lakh, with Rs 6,431 crore due from nearly 700 such units in the city. Some of the other districts with high amount of due taxes are Kutch (Rs 4,569 crore), Surat (Rs 4,250 crore), Morbi (Rs 2,766 crore) and Bhavnagar (Rs 1,722 crore).

The Gujarat government is estimating GST income to the tune of Rs 48,000 crore in the recently presented budget for 2019-20. In such a scenario, such a huge amount of unpaid taxes would hamper various development-related schemes. Sources in the GST department said that not only recovery, but strict actions were being taken to curb GST theft as in June 2019, and over 280 raids were conducted and GST theft of more than Rs 6,000 crore caught.

Source: Financial Express

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