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I-T Dept, GSTN to Ink MoU for Sharing Info

Data confidentiality part of pact
The Income Tax Department will now share information — such as reported turnover and gross income declared — with the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) to check tax evasion. The I-T Department and GSTN will enter an agreement on the modalities of information sharing. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has said the agreement will include provisions for confidentiality, a mechanism for safe preservation of data and timelines for furnishing information.
CBDT has left the onus of data-sharing on the principal director general of income tax (systems) or director general of income tax (systems). “Spontaneous exchange of data (is in the works), the modalities of which shall be decided by the concerned specified authorities,” an order issued by the CBDT said. Details captured in returns, status of filing income tax returns (ITR) and turnover ratio will form part of the information package to be shared with GSTN. The data can be matched with the business returns of the assessee.
Data sharing between various tax authorities has been an issue in the past. Income tax authorities now get information from various sources, including foreign tax authorities. The new income tax returns also capture details of taxpayers that could come in handy for GST authorities. Reverse flow of data from the GST authorities, when it would be set rolling, could further strengthen the I-T Department’s flow of information to tax payments.
There have been reports of evasion under the GST and the authorities are now looking at ways to plug it. They have introduced the Electronic Way Bill and imposed tax collected at source on payments made to suppliers by ecommerce platforms. Flow of information from income tax will further aid in curbing evasion, an official said.
“CBDT guidelines for income tax officers to automatically share information with GSTN will not only improve transparency of taxpayer data but also bring efficiency in the overall tax administration,” said Rakesh Nangia, managing partner, Nangia Advisors (Andersen Global). “The exchange of basic data about taxpayers’ turnover or gross profits will act as a tool for reconciliation by the GSTN, highlighting those who under-report.”
The Economic Times, 01st May 2019

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