Nowhere to hide as GST data unearths tax leakage, fraud : 02-07-2018

The government’s indirect tax department has identified “thousands of crore rupees” in tax leakage as it strengthens its data analytics capabilities after a year of goods and services tax (GST) implementation. The GST Council has initiated analytics of a large pool of data and text gathered during the past year and released a request for proposal (RFP) for a dedicated fraud analytics work. The fraud analytics activity is aimed to weave in more intelligence, tax accountability, and widen the tax base.

“So far, we were able to identify anomalies of thousands of crores of tax leakage, and the government is on it,” a source at the indirect tax department told ET.

The system collects data of traders at multiple layers of compliance such as GSTR1, GSTR3B and drawing information like value of product, tax rate, tax amount, sales and purchase details. Tax leakage is considered to be one of the key concerns for the GST Council. Analysts, GST Suvidha Providers (GSP) said both the government and businesses see “inconsistency” in data collected during compliance.

“From tax collection perspective, one of the concerning area is tax evasion (leakage or frauds). In order to detect such cases early, data analytics is planned to be used. Accordingly, we have released an RFP for selection of a partner. So we will be performing pure analytics on whatever data is collected, where we will be able to identify anomalies (if any) in the data sets and help tax officials initiate appropriate actions,” said Anand Pande, CISO, GSTN .

The GSTN fraud analytics project aims to leverage the power of big data and advanced analytics which will enable GSTN to extract better insights from data and enhance system for reducing fraud evasion.

Keeping an eye

The fraud analytics solution is “to run on near real time data and help key stakeholders at the Centre, states and UTs to get quick insights into data through powerful user interface and visualisation”, the RFP details. The solution is also envisaged to perform predictive search, create network between entities, etc, to detect and prevent frauds thereby providing the most relevant results.

Data analytics has significantly improved accountability on both the government and businesses sides, said analysts. For instance, both numbers and texts are mined to understand why a disparity persists between consumption of power and turnover of a trader.

“We are getting more detailed queries and the companies find it time consuming to get those compliance information. For example, if for a particular company the power consumption is going up but the turnover isn’t, that means there should be further investigation,” said N Balaji, Partner, Advisory Services – Analytics, EY.

Source : PTI

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