To help intercept stuck trucks at toll plazas and monitor GST evasion, the government is working on a system that will soon provide real-time reports to GST officers for those vehicles moving without e-way bills.
Tax officers will also receive research reports on recognising e-way bills with no movement of goods, which will help officials in detecting cases of circular trading. It would also include information on the changing of e-way bills for tax evasion-prone goods, which would help officers in locating tax evaders.
E-way bills have been made mandatory for inter-state transportation of goods priced over Rs 50,000 under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime since April 2018. Gold or some other items, on the other hand, are excluded.
Businesses and transporters who use the electronic way (e-way) bill system must produce the e-way bill if asked by a GST inspector.
The government is currently developing a 'Real-time and Analysis Reports on RFID' for GST officers to assist them in catching tax evaders who are abusing the e-way bill scheme. The government stated in a report titled "E-way Bill - A Three-Year Journey" that 180 crore e-way bills were produced in three years until March 2021. Just 7 crore of these bills were confirmed by tax officials.
In the fiscal year 2020-21, which ended in March 2021, 61.68 crore e-way bills were produced, 2.27 crore of which were picked up for verification. In the fiscal year 2019-20, which ended in March 2020, 62.88 crore e-way bills were produced, with 3.01 crore being picked up for tax officer verification.
Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka were the top five states that produced the most e-way bills for inter-state goods movement. Textiles, electrical machinery, machinery and mechanical equipment, iron and steel, and automobiles are the top five industries that have produced the most e-way bills in the last three years.
The government has integrated RFID/FasTag with the e-way bill system as of January 1, 2021, and a transporter is required to have an RFID tag in his vehicle, with details of the eway bill created for goods being transported by the vehicle being uploaded into the RFID.
The data fed into the system are submitted to the government portal when the vehicle passes through an RFID Tag reader on the highway. Revenue officials use the details to verify the supplies made by a GST-registered individual. To improve tax enforcement, the government has begun blocking the generation of EWB Bills for GST registered taxpayers who have not filed a GSTR-3B return for the previous two months.
In addition, the government has made it impossible to generate several EWBs on a single invoice. If an EWB is generated once with an invoice number or document number, no one else can create another EWB with the same invoice number. Furthermore, the e-way bills method allows for automatic distance calculation using PIN codes. On the basis of PIN codes, the machine can measure the distance between the source and destination.
The government will also include a real-time report on vehicle movement for selected e-way bills in the future to assist officers in understanding the vehicle's trail of movement. Officers will also be given a real-time update on vehicles travelling without e-Way bills for a specific toll plaza, allowing them to intercept only those vehicles that do not have e-Way bills.
Additionally, research reports on identifying EWB with no movement of goods will be given to help officers in identifying cases of bill and circular trading. Reports on the recycling of EWB for tax evasion-prone goods may aid in the identification of tax evading taxpayers.
An Expert Said, "With enhancements in GSTN & NIC systems, the efficacy of point-to-point tracking is getting water-tight. At this pace, taxpayers will soon witness real-time monitoring of goods. Transportation sector may have real-time tracking technologies in place in the next 3- 5 years, whereby tax leakage will practically become impossible."
An Expert Said that the three-year report on e-way bills outlines potential functionality that will be added to the NIC portal, allowing authorities and companies to monitor the movement of products more easily.
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