Unearthing Tax Evasion: 28 Arrested, Rs14,302-Cr Detected in April-May
Unearthing Tax Evasion: 28 Arrested, Rs14,302-Cr Detected in April-May

NEW DELHI: In the initial two months of the current fiscal, a staggering 2,784 cases of GST evasion amounting to Rs 14,302 crore have been identified, with authorities successfully recovering Rs 5,716 crore during the same period. This information was disclosed in a written response by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to the Lok Sabha. The data unveiled not only GST evasion but also instances of income tax evasion and outright smuggling detected by the Customs Department.

The figures show a total of over Rs 2.68 lakh crore in GST evasion identified between 2020-21 and 2023-24 (April-May) in 43,516 cases. A significant recovery of Rs 76,333 crore was made during this period, and authorities took 1,020 individuals into custody.

During the current fiscal period of April-May, authorities identified 2,784 cases of evasion, totaling Rs 14,302 crore. As a result, 28 individuals were apprehended, and an impressive Rs 5,716 crore was recovered.

The Income Tax Department's surveys, searches, and seizures over the last 5 years revealed that 3,946 groups were subjected to searches, and assets worth Rs 6,662 crore were seized.

In the fiscal year 2022-23 alone, 741 groups were subject to searches, leading to the seizure of assets worth Rs 1,765.56 crore.

Over the last four years, the Customs Department detected 42,754 cases of outright smuggling, with an estimated value of about Rs 46,000 crore.

For the current fiscal period of April-May, the Customs department discovered 2,986 cases of outright smuggling, involving goods valued at Rs 1,031 crore.

Additionally, during the last 4 years, authorities uncovered around 12,259 cases of commercial frauds, with a duty implication amounting to Rs 21,225 crore.

Sitharaman highlighted the Income Tax Department's utilization of electronic data to develop various non-intrusive methods for detecting tax evasion effectively.

The GST department is also taking significant steps to counter evasion, such as deploying robust data analytics and artificial intelligence to identify and track risky taxpayers, sharing data with partner law enforcement agencies for targeted interventions, and reducing the threshold limit for issuing e-invoices for B2B transactions from Rs 10 crore to Rs 5 crore starting from August 1, 2023.

The CBIC, in collaboration with DRI, is actively engaged in detecting and curbing import-export related commercial frauds through data analysis based risk management, intelligence development, and human intelligence gathering, which has resulted in substantial detections of tax evasion in recent years, as stated by Sitharaman.

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