As businesses navigate the complex landscape of taxation, one aspect that often causes concern is the possibility of a physical visit by the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Department. Such visits are conducted to ensure compliance with GST regulations and to verify the accuracy of the reported information.
An all-India drive from 16th May 2023 to 15th July 2023 against the fake GST Registration is already begin and the department started taking various actions against the taxpayers who found to be violating the rules of GST in relation to registration, principal place of business, record keeping and maintaining of actual records. In this article, we will look from the perspective of the GST officer to avoid the penalty and penal actions against our business and how businesses can be prepared during a GST Department visit.
During this special drive The Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) will identify potentially fraudulent GST Identification Numbers (GSTINs) for both State and Central Tax authorities. The GSTN will share specific information about these suspicious GSTINs, categorized by jurisdiction, with the relevant State/Central Tax administration. This will enable them to conduct thorough verifications and take appropriate action as necessary. If, upon detailed verification, it is determined that the taxpayer does not exist and is fictitious, the registration of the taxpayer in question will be suspended or cancelled.
When the GST Department pays a physical visit to your business premises, their primary objective is to verify the presence of principal place of business on the address mentioned during registration or on the address updated later on. Further, they will verify the accuracy and completeness of your GST records in order to ensure that your business is complying with all applicable GST laws, including proper registration, filing of returns, and payment of taxes.
During the GST Department visit, expect authorized officers to conduct an inspection of your business premises.
They may request access to various areas, such as your office, warehouse, production facilities, or any other relevant location. The officers will scrutinize records, invoices, purchase and sales registers, ledgers, stock registers, and other relevant documents to validate the accuracy of the reported information.
It is essential to note that the GST Department visit is a routine compliance measure and should not be viewed as an indication of non-compliance. By conducting such visits, the department aims to ensure a level playing field for all businesses and maintain the integrity of the GST system.
To counter the GST Department visit, it is crucial to be well-prepared in advance. Below are the few basic steps you need to take to ensure for avoiding fine or penalty.
1. Display Board:
2. GST Registration Certificate:
3. Organize Your Documentation:
Ensure that all your GST-related documents, such as Sale or Purchase invoices & registers and tax payment records, are well-organized and easily accessible. Keeping accurate and up-to-date records will demonstrate your commitment to compliance.
4. Review Your GST Compliance: Conduct an internal audit to review your GST compliance procedures, including registration, copy of the previous returns filed, and details of the tax payments. Address any identified gaps or errors before the visit to avoid potential penalties or further scrutiny.
5. Train Your Staff: Educate your employees about the GST regulations and their responsibilities in maintaining accurate records. Ensure they are aware of the procedures and can provide the necessary information during the visit.
6. Cooperate and Communicate: During the visit, maintain open lines of communication with the GST officers. Cooperate fully, provide the requested information promptly, and address any queries they may have. Professionalism and transparency will help create a positive impression.
A physical visit by the GST Department is part of the regular compliance efforts to ensure businesses adhere to GST regulations. By understanding the purpose of the visit and being prepared, businesses can navigate the process smoothly and demonstrate their commitment to compliance. It is crucial to maintain accurate records, review internal procedures, and cooperate fully with the officers during the visit. Embracing these practices will not only help streamline the process but also reinforce trust and integrity in the GST system.
Remember, a GST Department visit is an opportunity to showcase your business’s commitment to compliance and build a strong foundation for continued success in the world of taxation.
Disclaimer:- The above information is purely and solely for informative purposes. This in no way should be construed to be any professional advice, as these are merely general information and our interpretations of the laws and the Act. Viewers are requested to consult us before taking any action based on our interpretations. Circulation of any information in our name without our permission is not allowed.
The author is a GST practitioner and may be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or +91-9711975109