New Delhi: Racing against time to meet the GST collection target for 2018-19, tax officers have been prodding businesses to pay taxes by Sunday so that the amount gets reflected in the GST revenue collection data for March to be released on April 1 (Monday), a government official said.
Since taxes collected by non-EDI (electronic data exchange) ports takes about four-five days to get reflected in the system, the government is planning to come out with a reconciled data for full fiscal by April 10, the official further added.
"The tax officers are putting to use their goodwill with the assessees and nudging them to pay the taxes by March end, the last month of the fiscal, to make up for the collection target for 2018-19," a government official said.
The official said officers were also prodding some importers to front-load their integrated GST (IGST) payments in March for those inward shipments for which orders have already paid and are due to delivered in next couple of months.
The practice of prodding assessees to pay taxes by March end to meet the fiscal target was also prevalent during the erstwhile excise and service tax regime.
AMRG & Associates Partner Rajat Mohan said taxpayers in the erstwhile regime were hard-pressed at the close of the financial year to pay taxes over and above the actual tax liability.
This was done to balance the revenue targets allocated to each individual division. GST would loose its lustre if tax officers continue to use methods of persuasive coercion, Mohan said.
The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs had directed its field formations to remain open during the last weekend of the current financial year, which is March 30 and March 31, 2019, for assisting the taxpayers in filing returns and paying taxes.
The government had lowered the GST collection target for 2018-19 fiscal to Rs 11.47 lakh crore in the revised estimates, from Rs 13.71 lakh crore budgeted initially. GST collection stood at Rs 1.03 lakh crore in April, Rs 94,016 crore in May, Rs 95,610 crore in June, Rs 96,483 crore in July, Rs 93,960 crore in August, Rs 94,442 crore in September, Rs 1,00,710 crore in October, Rs 97,637 crore in November, Rs 94,725 crore in December 2018, Rs 1.02 lakh crore in January 2019 and Rs 97,247 crore in February 2019.
For fiscal 2019-20, the GST collection target has been budgeted at Rs 13.71 lakh crore.