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Non-tax filing on rise in state since GST rollout

Date: 30-03-2021
Subject: Non-tax filing on rise in state since GST rollout
Panaji: Ever since the Goods and Services Tax(GST) regime was implemented on July 1, 2017, the commercial tax department has seen an 85% increase in the number of taxpayers who have stopped filing returns. 

The department has also noticed an increase in the number of cases where tax dues have remained unpaid for the last four financial years. 

Data tabled by the state during the ongoing assembly session shows that the number of tax evasion cases have also increased since 2017-2018. 

Chief minister Pramod Sawant, who also holds the finance portfolio, released the data on tax defaulters and evasion in response to a question by Porvorim MLA Rohan Khaunte. 

“Regular assessment of non-filers and defaulters is undertaken by this department to assess and recover the dues. The assessment up to 2016-2017 has been completed and the assessment for 2017-2018 is in progress,” said Sawant in a written reply. 

The commercial tax department has registered 59 cases of tax evasion in the current financial year for evasion in the earlier financial years. 

In order to recover dues and collect much-needed revenue for the state, Sawant has asked the department to identify major tax defaulters and to conduct search and seizure operations. 

According to information, the number of taxpayers who did not file returns stood at 5,096 in 2017-18, but subsequently increased to 6,003 in 2019-20 and 9,459 in 2020-21. 

Similarly, the number of assessed cases where tax dues were unpaid stood at 7,259 in 2017-18, rose to 8,242 in 2019-20 and has now settled at 7,745 cases in 2020-21. 

As per GST norms, failure to file returns for more than six months can lead to cancellation of the GST registration. 

Sawant said that reminders are regularly being sent to defaulting taxpayers. 

In January 2021, officials of the commercial tax department initiated action against 77 defaulting firms from whom Rs 120 crore was recoverable by way of tax, interest and penalty. The defaulting firms were sole proprietorships, partnership firms, private companies, etc. 


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