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With GST being implemented from July 2017, it brought a paradigm shift in the way business and operations are conducted across India. Although it’s been 5 years since the new law came into force, business in India are still struggling to cope up with the changes which the government is making on a recurring basis.

One such significant change which the new law brought was audit and more specifically departmental audit under GST law. As significant period i.e., 5 years of the new law has passed, GST department has started issuing audit notices to assessee for verification and scrutiny of records. The State and Central GST Officers have already equipped with conducting GST Audit and started extensive training to their officers including publishing GST Audit Manual by CBIC as well as Karnataka Commercial Department.

Departmental Audit will be carried out systematically audit and procedure thereof has been well clarified in the GST Audit Manual. In this article we shall discuss few important aspects like

1. List of documents to be furnished to the officer prior to the audit

2. Action Points After Audit

3. Role of Professionals in Departmental GST Audit

Departmental Audit Under GST Are You Ready

List of Documents to be furnished prior to the audit

The important step in any audit is submission of the documents, in such a case submission of documents before the GST Audit officers becomes utmost important as the following documents contains all the information about the business and any mistake in the filing / submission of said forms can make you / your client fall in trouble.

Following documents (duly self-attested) may be furnished to department :

1. Annexure – GSTAM-I, Annexure – GSTAM-V and Annexure-GSTAM-VI as per the proforma prescribed in GST Audit Manual 2019

2. Copy of application for GST Registration, Registration Certificate(s)

3. Copies of GSTR-1, GSTR-2A, GSTR-3B and GSTR-9 and GSTR-9C alongwith payment challans

4. Details of E-Way bill for the audit period for inward and outward supply of goods and services

5. List of Show Cause Notice issued, if any and their present status

6. Date of last Departmental Audit and the period covered. (Copy of the findings and correspondence with the department in this regards, if any)

7. Audit Report of the audit conducted by CERA, if any

8. Any other relevant records.

Action Points After Audit

After the audit, audit findings are placed in the Monitoring Committee Meetings (MCM) and based on the decision of MCM, audit findings will be notified in the Form ADT-02 within 30 days after the completion of GST Audit and clarification of the registered person will be sought and the same will be incorporated in the final Audit Report and the same will be placed before MCM.

The final decision will be taken by the Monitoring Committee w.r.t. issuance of notice in accordance with Section 73 & Section 74 Of CGST Act 2017 and SCN will be issued, and thereby adjudication process will commence.

Role of Professionals in Departmental GST Audit:

1. Professional advice & review ensures compliance with the statutory provisions of the Act.

2. Helping management in streamlining & strengthening the business process of the entity by complying with the latest provisions of the statute.

3. Prior to the onsite visit of the tax officers, professionals can provide assistance in preparing/reviewing the documents/information for submission to the authorities.

4. Time-to-time discussions & timely submission of requisite documents/ information/ replies with the authorities.

5. During the onsite visits, they represent clients before the relevant officers by settling disputes, and reducing uncertainty.

6. Assistance in presenting the case before the department or the special auditors.

Conclusion

Department is well prepared and departmental officers are also getting trained.  Further given the complexity involved in departmental GST proceedings, it becomes important for an assessee to start preparing for audit proceedings by undertaking activities such as re-assessing the tax positions, reconciliations of ITC, periodic review, etc to ensure that there are no last-minute surprises from the GST department.

In view of the above, it is advisable to carry out such audits by experts, prepare the workings in the formats required by the department and take preventive measures before department highlights.

Once the department highlights excess availment of ITC or short payment of tax or the excess refund granted, then the provision of mandatory penalty and interest will be the additional burden on the registered person.

CA Ajay Kumar Mundada (ajay@mundadaandco.com)

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One Comment

  1. Navaneetha says:

    If the party has claimed less ITC by (clerical )mistake : But claimed ITC without considering the dr and credit notes, which resulted in some excess ITC claim. However the overall claim is less than that of eligbible ITC.

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