‘Adequate number of audit authorities must for GST’

Under the proposed GST law, experts suggest the setting up of tax auditing authorities in proportion to the number of assessees

By Sai Nikesh D

The Ministry of Finance, on Sunday, sought stakeholders’ comments on three reports of empowered committee of the state finance ministers on the proposed uniform tax regime, Goods and Services Tax (GST), by the end of this month.

The draft of the business processes on GST registration, refunds and payments has already been put up on the revenue department’s website https://mygov.in/group/department-revenue/ for inviting comments.

Besides, the draft model of CGST, SGST and IGST laws, along with the business processes for filing of income tax returns, shall also be put-up for inviting comments of stakeholders in due course, a Finance Ministry statement said.

Ravi Malik, Secretary General, All India Association of Central Excise Gazetted Executive Officers, came up with a list of suggestions. He suggested the setting up of tax auditing authorities in proportion to the number of assesses for the effective implementation of the new law.

“Commissionerates pattern may be continued, but sufficient number of groups in proportion of the number of assesses may be introduced replacing divisions and ranges,” Malik told.

He said the commissionerates and groups may be determined on territorial and specific service sector basis. “Smaller groups with respect to revenue or turnover may be headed by AC/DC and bigger ones by JC/ADC or even by commissioner, if these are super bigs.”

Malik also suggested that the audit commissionerates with group system should be continued and their number should be increased according to the number of assessees.

In judicial commissionerates, he said, the bench of adjudicating authorities (at least two members such as two AC/DC, or two JC/ADC should decide cases.

“In case of division of opinion, in the bench of AC/DC, one JC/ADC should sit, and in the bench of JC/ADC, commissioner should sit,” he said, adding, “sufficient number of posts in proportion of the number of assesses for staff and authorities should be created in these commissionerates.”

Besides, Malik also suggested the setting up of a national tribunal with co-ordinate benches in each state whose judgements are binding all over India. “GST commissionerates may focus on registration, returns, assessment or data analysis, refund & rebate, tax payer service etc. They should also be given work of excise & customs, wherever applicable,” he said.

Moreover, there may be regional co-ordination council in each state headed by CC with commissioners as members. Also, DGST may be converted to DGGSTI on the lines of Revenue Intelligence and Central Excise Intelligence, he said.

The Centre and states have already completed the drafting of the model GST and integrated-GST or iGST law, which is expected to be put up in public domain by early November. The empowered committee of state finance ministers is likely to meet this month to discuss the three legislations – CGST, SGST and iGST.

This article was published in The Dollar Business on October 12, 2015

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