The commercial tax department of Gujarat has designed a software to track bogus billing tactics adopted by businessmen for tax evasion.
The software, once in operation, will track all transactions online.
“We want to bring transparency in dealings across the state. During our study, we found a number of instances where trader collects tax from buyer, but doesn’t deposit it with the exchequer,” said a high-ranking official with the department.
“There are also instances of bogus or fake bills. We need to stop this menace and therefore have upgraded our software that will reveal all information,” he added.
The tool, once live on the department’s website, will help dealers file their tax returns.
“Whenever a dealer files return by citing invoice and registration numbers of the concerned parties, he/she will get information whether the issuer has paid tax or not,” said the official. “If the issuer party or seller hasn’t paid the tax, then assessee is not entitled to get tax credit on the particular transaction,” he added.
The state government, in this year’s budget, had amended rules pertaining to VAT, which allows buyer to claim tax credit only when the tax is paid in previous transaction. The move was aimed at bringing transparency. But traders opposed it saying an honest businessman might fall prey due to denial of tax credit, instead of the one collecting tax but not depositing it with the government.
There are 4.17 lakh registered traders (dealers) in Gujarat. Despite cries of slowdown and lower consumer demand in the economy, VAT collection showed a healthy increase in 2012-13. Total VAT collection in the state was Rs41,800 crore in 2012-13 – 26% higher than the year before.