AI, data analytics to track GST evaders, boost compliance

AI, data analytics to track GST evaders, boost compliance

The government plans to increase the use of artificial intelligence and data analytics to track down tax evaders, and improve compliance with the Goods and Service Tax in order to augment revenue.

Top tax officials are scheduled to participate in a brainstorming session to be chaired by revenue secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey next week to firm up this plan.

“The revenue secretary will hold a day-long meeting on January 7 with tax commissioners to discuss ways to streamline the GST system and plug leakages due to fraud,” said a person aware of the development.

The discussions will include assessing the wider use of data analytics and AI in the process of enforcement and red-flagging tax evaders and fake refund claimants without overreach or harassment to genuine taxpayers.

The meeting comes on the heels of the government notifying changes to GST rules to prevent frauds and fake invoicing, besides setting up grievance cells to ensure that genuine taxpayers are not harassed and the overall tax base increases. The government last week reduced input tax credit to 10% from 20% of eligible credit if invoices or debit notes were not reflected in filings.

Last month, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs instructed field officers to expeditiously create GST grievance redressal committees at zonal and state levels.

Tax officials have been directed to identify cases of suppression of personal income, wilful tax evasion, fake invoicing or inflated or fake e-way bills, and take stern action.

Those attending the session will include state tax commissioners and chief tax commissioners from the Centre, senior officials of various tax bodies along with officers of the enforcement wings. Their goal is to develop a targeted approach to stop tax and duty evasion while making sure that no taxpayer is troubled.

There’s growing concern over revenue shortfall, with slowing consumption demand adversely impacting GST collections. The corporate tax cut amounting to a loss of revenue of Rs 1.45 lakh crore, along with recent GST compensation of over Rs 35,000 crore to states, have increased the stress on the Centre’s fiscal position.

Source: Economic-Times.

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