The Union government will set up an online audit mechanism under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in order to streamline the process, as suggested by a parliamentary panel in its report on ‘anti-competitive practices by the big tech companies’.
“The ministry has accepted the recommendation concerning the establishment of an online audit mechanism. The committee would expect the ministry to earnestly pursue this issue with the objective of further streamlining the GST audit process. The committee desires to be apprised of the results of this undertaking at the time of furnishing the final action taken statement,” the standing committee on finance said in its report.
The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs has published the GST Audit Manual, which provides the list of documents required to conduct audit, timelines for audit and other standard formats. The copies of documents and records required to be submitted for conducting audit may be submitted through email. Subsequently, if any clarification is sought from the taxpayer, it may be submitted through email.
“From the systems perspective, the current audit functionality provides the feasibility for conducting the audit online wherein the required documents can be uploaded by the taxpayer as well as the tax officer for further examination,” the corporate affairs ministry said in its reply to the recommendation of the panel.
The recommendation was made in view of the concern with respect to audit in GST under which a large number of documents are being sought from taxpayers for conducting an audit. Besides, the assesses are also being called to the GST offices for physical appearance, which consumes a lot of time of assesses and officials alike.