Recovery of Tax

GST penalties
| Updated on: August 23, 2021

Recovery of Tax

Under GST, there are well defined procedures for demand of unpaid tax, which is done via the issue of Show Cause Notice (SCN) and Order. However, if the due tax amount still remains unpaid, then the department is authorised to start recovery of tax, meaning proceedings can be started officially.

When to initiate proceedings for recovery of tax under GST?

As per the provisions of recovery of tax in GST, if the amount payable by a taxable person, remains unpaid, even after 3 months from the date of issuing the order for demand of tax, then the recovery of tax under GST will be initiated. However, if the proper officer considers it urgent in the interest of revenue, he may state reasons recording in writing, and direct the concerned taxpayer to make payment in a reduced period as well. In any case, if the demand is not paid in the time specified, then the department will initiate proceedings for recovery of tax in GST.

What are the modes of recovery of tax under GST?

  • Deduction of due amount from the tax amount payable to such person by the department
  • Recovery of tax by way of detaining and selling any goods belonging to such person
  • Recovery of tax from another person, from whom money is either due or may become due to such person
  • Recovery of tax from another person, who holds or may subsequently hold money for or on account of such person, to pay to the credit of the Central or a State Government
  • Detention of any movable or immovable property belonging to such person, until the amount payable is paid. If the dues are not paid within 30 days, the said property is to be sold and with the proceeds of such sale the amount payable and cost of sale is to be recovered
  • Recovery of tax through the collector of the district, in which such person owns any property or resides or carries on his business, as if it were an arrear of land revenue. The proper officer will need to prepare a certificate specifying the amount due from such person and hand it over to the concerned collector, for this purpose
  • Recovery of tax by way of application to the appropriate magistrate, who in turn shall proceed to recover the amount as if it were a fine imposed by him
  • Recovery of tax via enforcing the bond or instrument executed under the Act or any rules or regulations made under the Act
  • Recovery of tax done by the proper officer of the State Government or Union Territory Government, wherein, any CGSTarrears will be recovered as if it were an SGST / UTGST arrear. Such an amount will be recovered, and then later credited to the account of the Central Government. In case the amount recovered by this means, is less than the amount due, then the amount will be apportioned among the Central Government and State / UT Government in proportion to the amount due to each authority

Special provisions for recovery of tax under GST

Void transfer of property

As per the GST provisions, the department can seize properties belonging to the defaulter to recover the due tax amount. Sometimes, in order to avoid such seizures, the taxpayer transfers the property via sale, mortgage, exchange etc. after the amount has become due – the intention being to evade paying the tax amount which is due. To handle such a scenario, the provisions have been laid down, which state that transfer of property will become void, whenever there is a tax amount due to be paid.

However, the transfer will not be held as void, provided:

  • Transfer has been made for an adequate consideration
  • Transfer has been made in good faith, i.e. without any intention to cause fraud
  • The taxpayer has not received any notice regarding pending tax dues or proceedings at the time of transfer
  • Prior permission of the proper officer has been obtained

Tax to be the first charge on property

As per the provisions of recovery of tax in GST, any tax amount which is due, including interest and penalty, will be the first charge on the property of the defaulter, and will override all laws, except the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

Provisionally attaching property to protect revenue

If at any point in time, the commissioner is of the opinion, that the government revenue is at stake, then he has the authority to provisionally attach any property of the defaulting taxpayer. Such a provisional attachment will have a validity of 1 year.

Properties are generally treated as a temporary security for the purpose of provisional attachment, especially when there is a strong suspicion that the defaulter will abscond. That is the reason why the provision has been made to include bank accounts also into such property and include them as part of provisional attachment of property to protect revenue.

Appeal and Revisions

If the taxpayer files for an appeal or revision against the notice of demand received, then either of the following can occur, as far as the decision is concerned:

  • Due Amount is Increased – In this case, the commissioner will serve another notice of demand for the difference amount. The old amount will anyway be covered by the notice issued earlier.
  • Due Amount is Decreased – In this case, the commissioner will inform the taxpayer about the reduction, and also apprise the authority with whom the recovery of tax under GST is pending. No new notice will be issued in this case.

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