Govt to strengthen agency under GST to check tax evasion

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With the goods and service tax (GST) subsuming central levies like excise duty, service tax and state VAT, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has reorganised its existing central excise and service tax field formations to suit the requirements of the new regime.

Ahead of the planned GST rollout from July 1, the government is strengthening the body responsible for detecting tax evasion and will set up two new agencies, including one for business intelligence and analytics.

With the goods and service tax (GST) subsuming central levies like excise duty, service tax and state VAT, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has reorganised its existing central excise and service tax field formations to suit the requirements of the new regime.

The CBEC will itself be rechristened as the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) and will supervise GST and Customs activities and provide the government policy inputs.

The CBIC will be headed by a chairman and will have six members — for GST; IT, legal and compliance verification; investigation; tax policy; Customs and administration and vigilance.

In a letter to the zonal heads, the human resource arm of the CBEC said the Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGSTI) will be the new name of the existing Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence (DGCEI), but with more powers. The DGSTI will have its task cut out, keeping in view the steep increase in the GST taxpayer base, the letter said.

The organisation will be headed by a principal director general in Delhi who will be assisted by four sub-national directors general. Also, two new directorates are being created. The Directorate General of Analytics and Risk Management (DGARM) will have two verticals for business intelligence and analytics and risk management centre to provide perspectives for policy formulation.

The Directorate of International Customs will be created to deal with WTO related matters, including tariff, as well as the Kyoto Convention, multilateral and bi-lateral agreements with other countries.

“It will also assist the board in functions related to the National Trade Facilitation Committee for implementation of the trade facilitation agreement (TEA) and Customs procedures for international Trade. All matters of cross- border trade through Land Customs Stations shall also be handled by this directorate,” the letter said.

Further, the National Academy of Customs, Indirect Taxes and Narcotics (NACIN), will be the new form of the existing National Academy of Customs, Excise and Narcotics (NACEN). In the GST regime, it will be the only academy of its kind in India that will provide regular training to officers.

It is also envisaged that the NACIN will provide training to representatives of trade bodies and tax professionals. Thus, it will be catering to the training needs of around 70,000 persons every year.

The role of the Directorate General of Taxpayer Services under the GST set-up will be to provide assistance to the taxpayers at their doorsteps, in addition to handling publicity and public relations, holding seminars and workshops, attending to queries of taxpayers and coordinating the resolution of taxpayers’ grievances.

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