Tax evasion is a major headache for every economy around the globe. Therefore, tax laws are designed to curb evasions and recover taxes where there is evasion. The GST Act has also got provisions to empower the tax authorities to demand and recover the tax from tax evaders.
In our previous guide, we discussed how and when tax authorities can raise demand for tax from defaulters and penalties for default. In continuation to that, we will discuss the legal provisions related to the recovery of tax under GST.
When the tax authorities pass an order demanding tax, the defaulter gets 3 months from the date of issue such order to pay the due tax, interest and penalty. However, the Proper officer has the authority to reduce the time allowed if he considers it expedient in the interest of revenue.
The tax department can start recovery proceedings if the demand for the tax is not met. The GST Act empowers the Proper officer to recover due tax by one or more of the following modes:
GST Act empowers the Proper officer or any other specified officer to recover the unpaid tax by deducting the amount due from any other amount paid in excess by the defaulting assessee which may be under the control of the Proper officer or specified officer.
The Proper officer or any other specified officer has been given the power to recover unpaid tax by detaining or selling any goods belonging to defaulter but under the control of the officer.
The proper officer also has the power to recover the unpaid tax from any person who owes money to the defaulter of tax. A proper officer can issue a notice to such person asking him to pay the defaulter’s tax due by deducting it from the money he owes to the deductor. A proper officer can issue a notice to ask for payment and notify when it should be paid. The amount is payable when it becomes due or held within the time specified in the notice. However, the time mentioned in the notice cannot be earlier than the date on which the payment becomes due or is held.
Another way the proper officer can recover tax is by detaining any movable or immovable property belonging to or controlled by defaulter. The officer can keep the property detained until the time defaulter pays the tax due. If the amount is not paid within 30 days from the date on which property was detained, the officer may sell the property to recover the amount due and pay any excess amount from the sale to the defaulter.
The proper officer can also recover tax of the defaulter through the collector of the relevant district. The officer can send a certificate to the collector stating the amount to be recovered. The collector can recover the tax by treating it as an arrear of land revenue.
The Proper officer can also ask the appropriate magistrate to recover the tax. The concerned magistrate can then recover the tax by considering it a fine imposed by him.
A Proper officer of state government or union territory can recover any CGST while recovering any SGST or UTGST by considering the former as an arrear of later and pay it to the central government.
In case the recovered amount is less than the amount due, then such amount is distributed among the central government and state government or union territory in the proportion it is due to each government.
The defaulter of tax may get an extension to pay the due amount by filing an application to the commissioner. He can get permission to pay CGST along with interest in monthly instalments not exceeding 24 months.
This facility is not available for payment of amount die as per the liability self-assessed in any return.
If the assessee fails to pay any of the instalments, the whole outstanding balance becomes due and payable in one go and the tax department can take recovery action on it without further notice.
Interest to be paid from the date of tax became due till the date of actual payment.
Any bond or other instrument was executed under this act or rules or regulation thereunder and that bond or instrument provides that any amount due under such instrument may be recovered in the manner prescribed under such sub-section, then the amount without prejudice to the other mode of recovery will be recovered.
If a person who has tax due, creates a charge or parts with his property through sale, mortgage, exchange or any other way of transfer in favour of any other person with the intention of defrauding government revenue, then such transfer or charge will be considered void in order to facilitate recovery of unpaid tax.
Above mentioned charge or transfer will not be considered void if:
The amount payable as tax, interest, a penalty by the taxable person or any other person shall be the first charge on the property of such taxable or another person, notwithstanding anything contrary contained in any other law for the time being in force, save as otherwise provided in Insolvency and Bankruptcy code 2016.
Commissioner may, if necessary in the interest of Government revenue, by order in writing, attach provisionally any property belonging to the taxable person during the pendency of any proceeding in case of:
Such provisional attachment shall be ceased to have effect after the expiry of one year from the date of the order mentioned above.
Where any notice of demand in relation to Government dues viz Tax, Penalty, Interest or any other amount payable under the act, is served upon the taxable person and any appeal, revision application is filed or any other proceeding is initiated in respect of such Government dues then if:-
If the appeal, revision or other proceedings result in enhancement of tax dues, then the commissioner shall serve notice of demand in respect of enhanced amount. Recovery proceeding shall be continued from the stage at which such proceedings stood immediately before such disposal.
If the appeal, revision or other proceedings result in a reduction of tax dues, then fresh notice of demand is not required. Here, only reduced demand is liable for recovery and the reduction in dues is conveyed to the taxable person. Further recovery proceeding should continue with the reduced amount from the stage at which such proceedings stood immediately before such disposal.