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Large number of GST fraud cases involving the use of fake invoice for wrong availment of Input Tax Credit (ITC), which is further used to pay GST on outward supply have been detected since the roll out of GST by the Central GST authorities as well as State GST authorities. Whereas the mens rea (the intention or knowledge of wrongdoing that constitutes part of a crime, as opposed to the action or conduct of the accused) for the use of such fake invoices appears to be fraudulent availment/encashment of ITC. The unscrupulous entities engaged in this also defraud other authorities such as banks by inflating turnovers, laundering of money, etc. In order to curb the practice of such fraud, GST department has issued SOPs for tackling fake invoice cases and government has introduced various penal provisions as well as prosecutions.

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