With the official release of GST tax system in India on 31st July, the complaints about fraud in GST implementation have already started flowing. Since most of the common people are still not completely aware of the exact GST rates applicable on various goods and services, they are being cheated by the shopkeepers who may have been charging GST at wrong rates. These types of actions where more than applicable or wrong GST is levied from the customer are considered GST frauds.
Types of GST Frauds
- GST being collected on products/services that are GST-free
- GST collected on products/services that are already VAT paid or in addition to VAT
- Levying more GST than defined GST rate/s
- Unethical elements posing as GST officers
We will try to understand all these types of GST frauds in detail here:
There are about 100 items in the GST Exemption list on which GST is not supposed to be levied. This includes daily need items like mineral water, grains, milk, vegetables, eggs, etc. You can find the complete list on the internet. Shopkeepers are not allowed to charge any GST or otherwise tax on such products. But since people are not aware of these things, many shopkeepers and dealers are charging additional rates in the name of GST on such GST-free commodities.
After the implementation of the GST regime, all the previous taxes including VAT and CST will be replaced by the new taxation mechanism. All service providers like restaurants are supposed to charge according to the new tax system, but many of them are still using the old VAT system to charge tax on their services. Some businesses are even levying GST in addition to the already applied VAT tax on their service bills. This is a classic example of GST fraud. All businesses are supposed to clear their paid taxes on the old stock against input tax credit and implement new GST system immediately.
It was normal for businesses to charge more tax than the defined rates even in the pre-GST era. And now businesses are doing it even more as people are not aware of the exact GST rates they are supposed to pay for a particular item. A common example is the GST rate being charged on clothing items. According to the GST law, 5% tax is applicable on clothing products with the value less than or equal to Rs. 1000 but many shopkeepers are levying a common GST rate on all clothing items irrespective of their prices.
Many people have filed complaints about them being approached by fake agents who claim to be GST officers and demand for GST taxes. The Office of Chief Commissioner of GST (Delhi Zone) has, in response, clarified that the GST is only evaluated during transit period, and no GST official is permitted to visit any shopkeeper or trader and/or demand for money.
Actions against GST Fraud
For any type of GST fraud related complaints, customers are advised to contact the GST Helpdesk number and/or email id mentioned below.
GST Help Desk Number: 0120-4888999
GST Help Email: email@example.com
In addition to this, GST fraud affected people can also follow one or all of the following measures.
Contact GST-fraud complaint helpline number at 011-23370115
There are many unofficial GST forums and boards where you can share your complaint with complete description. It may not help you find the resolution of your query but it will certainly help other users.
Report GST Fraud Here
Contact CBEC Mitra Helpdesk via email at:
firstname.lastname@example.org or Toll-Free Number 1800 1200 232
You may also contact your regional or state GST helpline to file a complaint against a fraudulent activity or dealer.
Make sure to check the applicable GST rate on a product and/or service online before paying any tax amount to a dealer. The government has launched a “GST RATE Finder App” that you can use to find the exact GST rate for any item or service.
You can also share your GST fraud related complaints and/or questions on our free GST helpline website or mobile app. We will try our best to resolve your issues as early as possible on our end or forward it to the concerned government authority if needed.
Anyone is allowed to file a complaint using any of the options above against any shopkeeper/dealer charging unethical GST tax amount or a fake person pretending to be a GST officer. Further, for any GST fraud related assistance, comment below, we will suggest you the best measures for the same.