Tax sleuths to pose as customers to catch traders not issuing bills in Chandigarh
In a campaign against the failure to issue sale invoices, the UT tax department officials will go undercover from February 15, posing as customers to check if retailers are issuing bills with every sale. Random checks will also be carried out to see if customers ask retailers for bills.
Are you as a customer asking for a bill for every purchase you make? If you are not, beware, for the taxmen could fine you too, tax officials have revealed.
“We will fine shopkeepers and shoppers who don’t have sale invoices for the sales made. We are planning to send decoy customers to shops to check whether bills with GST charged are being given by sellers. Violators will be penalised as per the GST Act,” said RK Chaudhary, assistant commissioner, UT excise and taxation department.
A seller has to mandatorily issue a bill for every transaction above ₹200. Customers have the right to ask for bills.
Authorities can fine sellers ₹20,000 or 100% of the tax evaded. Significantly, a consumer not demanding a bill is considered an abettor for the violation under the GST Act. Such a consumer can be fined up to ₹25,000.
Non-issuance of bills by retailers of different merchandise is one of the major reasons for revenue leakages in the city. “While non-issuance of bills is part of the problem, buyers not asking for bills is also a cause of concern. Both aspects of issuance of bills or sale invoices have to be taken up to deal with the problem,” said Chaudhary.
The department has formed teams for each of the nine wards under its jurisdiction across the city to keep tabs on retailers not issuing bills.
Shopkeepers will be also penalised for not mentioning the break-up of GST – UTGST and CGST – in the bill.
Significantly, the department will also be taking punitive action against composition dealers (those with annual turnover of less than ₹2.5 crore paying tax at 2% on total sales) who charge GST from buyers.
Before starting the planned punitive drive, the department on January 21 launched an awareness campaign: Issuance and collection of GST bill for retailers. As part of the drive, stickers are being pasted in every shop mentioning therein issuance and collection of GST Bill. So far, around 10,000 stickers have been issued, claim department officials.
Slides in cinema halls of the city, big hoardings in markets, jingles on FM radio and trade association meetings are also being used for the campaign. The Department has created a Twitter handle, @TaxationExcise and e-mail, email@example.com for lodging grievances etc.