PHD Chamber: Search, Seizure and Arrest are basically provided to protect the interest of genuine Tax Payers and as a Deterrent for Tax Evasion in 2021

New Delhi, December 10, 2021: In continuation of pursuit to provide real time knowledge platform to educate and keep the industry abreast on the continuous issues evolving in GST and to help the industry tide over the intricacies involved in the GST Laws and procedures, the Indirect Taxes Committee of PHD Chamber has organized the Seminar cum Webinar on Burning Issues in Summon, Search, Seizure and Arrest under GST on Friday, 10th December 2021 from 10:30 am – 02:00 pm at PHD House, New Delhi.

Mr. Pradeep Multani, President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, stated that the provisions for Search, Seizure and Arrest are basically provided to protect the interest of genuine tax payers and as a deterrent for tax evasion. He was speaking at the at the Seminar cum Webinar on Burning Issues in Summon, Search, Seizure and Arrest under GST, organised by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Mr. Pradeep Multani appreciated the Government for undertaking the proactive and fast track initiatives to have legislative methods for mitigating the effects of tax evasion. He said that the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was significant step in the field of indirect tax reforms in India. GST represents not just a change in the indirect tax regime, but also a business transformation. Gearing up for such a change in the processes, understanding the new legislation and redesigning the IT systems for being GST compliant is the need of the hour. He opined that the focus is required on enhancing ease of doing business, reducing cost of doing business, creating a level playing field and ensuring timely justice.

Mr. Bimal Jain, Chairman, Indirect Taxes Committee, PHD Chamber, stated that the GST Authorities are issuing summons in a casual manner and directly at the level of CEO and CFO of the companies. In this regard, he opined that the summons must be issued as a last resort and GST authorities should refrain from calling on information and documentation already  provided or uploaded by companies online.

Mr. Bimal Jain further stated that power of search and seizure comes with “Reason to believe” should be exercised by the GST official in true letter and spirit. Further, highlighted that Arrest provisions to be used as an exception and custodial interrogation should not be violative of Article 21 of  Right to Life and Personal Liberty. Even recovery and provisional attachment provisions are to be used only when there is genuine reason to protect govt revenues and should not be used in regular and mechanical manner. Lots of litigation in GST is on account of interpretation of GST Laws should not be termed as suppression in casual mode by the GST authorities.
Mr. Pawan Arora, Co-Chair, Indirect Taxes Committee, PHD Chamber & Partner at Athena Law Associates, stated that the administration structure post  GST was supposed to be based on the principle of pooled sovereignty, mutual co-operation, cross reporting, meaningful control. It is a very settled proposition of law that the intent/rationale of the lawmakers is never to mitigate the rights of the taxpayer and cause unnecessary and unwanted trouble to them. Only a vigilant approach can save the day.
Tax experts who deliberated on the finer aspects of the Summon, Search, Seizure and Arrest under GST – Intricacies and Way Forward included Mr. Dharnendra K. Rana, Partner, Nitya Tax Associates; Mr. Shivam Mehta, Partner, Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan;; and Ms. Geetika Shrivastava, Executive Partner, TATTVAM Advisor.
The Webinar concluded with an extensive discussion of more than 4 hours with the participation of more than 250 delegates. PHDCCI’s session was supported by A2Z Taxcorp; Nitya Tax Associates; Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan attorneys; Athena Law Associates; TATTVAM Advisor; and IRIS Legal.

This news was shared to Prittle Prattle News via press release.

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