Dec 2023 quarter: Maha had max fake firms, Delhi top GST dodger

By Quaid Najmi

Mumbai, Jan 8:In a dubious distinction, the maximum number of fake companies were busted in Maharashtra and the highest amount of GST evasion took place in Delhi, in the quarter ending December 2023, as per official data released on Sunday.

For the quarter, a staggering 4,153 bogus firms indulging in suspected ITC (input tax credits) evasion of Rs 12,036 crore were detected, including 2,358 by Central GST authorities.

The action helped save revenues of Rs 1,317 crore including Rs 997 crore by blocking ITCs and recovery of Rs 319 crore plus arresting 41 persons.

Of the 4,153 fake firms, Maharashtra topped the list with 926, followed by Rajasthan (507), Delhi (483), Uttar Pradesh (443), Haryana (424), Karnataka (223), Tamil Nadu (185), Gujarat (178), Odisha (138), West Bengal (126), and Telangana (117).

Of the ITC evasion of Rs 12,036 crore, the highest amounts were from: Delhi (Rs 3,028 crore), Maharashtra (Rs 2,201 crore), Uttar Pradesh (Rs 1,645 crore), Andhra Pradesh (Rs 756 crore), Haryana (Rs 624 crore), Telangana (Rs 536 crore), Tamil Nadu (Rs 494 crore), Gujarat (Rs 445 crore), Karnataka (Rs 397 crore), West Bengal (Rs 343 crore), Odisha (Rs 337 crore), Rajasthan (Rs 197 crore), Madhya Pradesh (Rs 158 crore), Kerala (Rs 152 crore), Bihar (Rs 148 crore), Assam (Rs 116 crore), and Jharkhand (Rs 110 crore).

Other Indian states had lower numbers of fake firms operating and lesser amounts of GST evasion detected, as per the sleuths.

Maharashtra and Delhi also topped the number of arrests made – 11 each – plus 5 from Uttar Pradesh, 3 each from Gujarat and Haryana, Karnataka 2, 1 each from Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Chhattisgarh, totaling 41.

As far as recoveries of Rs 1,317 crore (from the total Rs 12,036 crore) are concerned, the highest amounts were extracted from: Tamil Nadu (Rs 374 crore), Telangana (Rs 235 crore), Maharashtra (Rs 102 crore), besides smaller amounts from other states.

From May 2023, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) initiated a special drive in which a whopping 29,273 bogus firms were detected to be involved in suspected Input Tax Credit (ITC) frauds worth Rs 44,015 crore.

The GST formations across India managed to save Rs 4,646 crore, comprising blocking of ITCs of Rs 3,802 crore and Rs 833 crore in recoveries plus making 121 arrests. The officials said that the government has tried to curtail tax evasion through measures like sequential filing of GST returns, system generated intimation for reconciliation of the gap in tax liability in GSTR-1 & GSTR- 3B returns and of the gap between ITC available as per GSTR-2B & ITC availed in GSTR-3B returns, use of data analytics and risk parameters for detection of fake ITC, etc.