Tax men cannot 'raid' shopkeepers sans authorization: Govt
Acting tough against unscrupulous elements 'peeking' into the premises of traders with the objective to 'fleece' them in the name of GST, the government has made it very clear that no tax officer has been authorised to visit premises of traders and shopkeepers without prior permission from the higher authority. The Centre also cleared that on the notice of any such deviation, it should be reported to a complaint helpline.
The Finance Ministry came out with a clarification after reports suggested that some unscrupulous elements posing as GST officers have tried to fleece shopkeepers and customers in the name of GST. The chief commissioner of GST (Delhi zone) has clarified that the tax department only wants to facilitate the process for shopkeepers and traders during the transition to GST regime.
"No officer of the department is authorised to visit the premises of traders and shopkeepers without authorisation," the ministry clarified in a statement, adding that anyone facing any such problem to lodge a complaint on tax department's phone line, 011-23370115.
In another major development, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley launched a mobile app called 'GST Rates Finder' to help users find out rates of GST for various goods and services. The app, available on the Android platform, can be downloaded on any smartphone and can work in offline mode as well, once downloaded.
"The user can determine the GST rate for a good or a service by entering the name or the chapter heading of the commodity or service. The search result will list all the goods and services containing the name which is typed in the search box," a senior official said.
The users can scroll down the list of description and when any specific item on the list is clicked, the display window pops up, containing details such as GST rate, description of goods or services and the chapter heading of the harmonised system of nomenclature (HSN), the official explained.
Through the app, any person who has been billed by a hotel or a restaurant or for footwear purchase can cross-verify the correctness of the rate of GST charged. Also, the GST rate finder has been provided on the portal of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) and at the portal, a taxpayer can search for applicable CGST, SGST, UTGST rate and the Compensation Cess on a particular supply.