The offences under the GST Act are categorised under different subdivisions to understand the nature of the offence. These sub-divisions and their respective offences are as follows –
|Issuing a false or a wrong invoice or not issuing any invoice at all for any type of goods or services being supplied||
|Issuing the GST invoice without actually supplying the corresponding goods and services||M/S ABC Ltd. created a GST invoice for INR 10,000 for the month of July 2019 but they did not actually supply any goods or services in that month|
|Issuing an invoice or a document which contains the GSTIN (Goods and Services Tax Identification Number) of another individual or entity registered under GST||M/S ABC Ltd. supply goods worth INR 50,000 and the GSTIN quoted by them on their bills is the GSTIN of M/S XYZ Ltd.|
|Transportation of goods on which GST would be applicable without providing the required documents or by providing wrong documents||
|Non-maintenance of the required documents or records required under the GST Act||M/S ABC Ltd. failed to maintain a record of all the invoices of the goods that they sold in a financial year|
|Submitting incorrect information when registering for GST or at any other time||M/S ABC Ltd. provided the wrong address of their registered office when registering for GST|
|Availing GST refund by furnishing fraudulent information||M/S ABC Ltd. claim for GST refund on transactions which have not been done by them|
|Falsifying documents or records to furnish incorrect information to evade tax||M/S ABC Ltd. make false Profit and Loss Accounts to underreport their turnover so that they can save on GST payments|
|Not registering for GST||M/S ABC Ltd. should have a GST registration for their business but they do not register|
|Tampering with goods or disposing them off when they have been attached, detained or seized under the provisions of the GST Act||M/S ABC Ltd. try and auction off the stock which has been attached under GST Act.|
|Deliberate supply, transport or storage of goods which would be confiscated under the provisions of GST rules||M/S ABC Ltd. transport those goods which can be confiscated knowing about such possible confiscation|
|Underreporting or hiding the correct amount of turnover for the year to evade GST||M/S ABC Ltd. had a turnover of INR 25 lakhs in the financial year 2018-19. However, for GST purposes, they showed a turnover of INR 15 lakhs|
|Non-payment of GST to the Government within 3 months of collecting the same from the buyer of goods and services||M/S ABC Ltd. sold goods on 1st May 2019 and collected GST on the same. However, the collected GST was not deposited within 31st July 2019|
|Non-payment of GST to the Government within 3 months of collecting the same from the buyer of goods and services when GST has been collected in contravention of the provisions of the GST Act||M/S ABC Ltd. sold goods on 1st April 2019 and collected GST on the same in contravention of the GST Act. However, the collected GST was not deposited within 30th June 2019|
|Availing Input Tax Credit or utilising it without actually supplying the relevant goods and services||M/S ABC Ltd. availed an Input Tax Credit of INR 10,000 but they did not sell any goods which qualified for availing the corresponding amount of Input Tax Credit|
|Failing to abide by the provisions of tax liability under Section 52 (2) of the GST Act. This section specifies the tax amount to be deducted or the tax amount payable to the Government for supplying goods and services||M/S ABC Ltd. was supposed to deduct tax @10% under Section 52 (2) of the GST Act on the goods and services that it supplied. However, it did not deduct the required tax.|
|Failing to abide by the provisions of tax liability under Section 52 (3) of the GST Act. This section specifies the tax amount to be deducted or the tax amount payable to the Government for supplying goods and services||M/S ABC Ltd. was supposed to deduct tax @10% under Section 52 (3) of the GST Act on the goods and services that it supplied. However, it did not deduct the required tax.|
|Availing Input Tax Credit which is in breach of Section 20 of the GST Act||M/S ABC Ltd. availed Input Tax Credit against the rules contained under Section 20 of the GST Act.|
|Obstructing or not allowing an officer from doing his/her duties as specified under the GST Act||M/S ABC Ltd. did not allow an officer of the Government to investigate their financial statements to find out GST related discrepancies|
|Tampering with or destroying documents which serve as an evidence||M/S ABC Ltd. destroyed the original invoices which prove that the company evaded the applicable GST by under reporting their turnover|
|Providing incorrect documents or not providing the required documents to the officer authorised to act under the GST Act||
These are the 21 cases of offences which businesses can be found guilty of with regards to following the rules prescribed under the GST Act. These breaches can be minor or major. Depending on the type of breach, penalty would be applicable. The penalty applicable in each of the above 21 cases is
whichever is higher.
Let’s understand these two types of breaches –
Penalty is a punishment which is levied if the entity or an individual commits a punishable offence. A penalty can involve jail or payment of fines and can be civil or criminal in nature. For any type of GST penalty, the following rules would apply –
There are different types of GST penalties levied on different types of offences. These offences and their respective penalties include the following –
If any goods are transported in contravention of any provisions, all such goods and the conveyance carrying such goods along with the related documents shall be detented or seized.
It shall be released on payment of tax and penalty. The penalty shall be equal to the tax payable where the owner is ready to pay. The penalty shall be equal to half of the tax payable where the owner is not ready to pay.
If any goods are supplied under evasion of taxes, or are not correctly accounted for or registration has not been done or any other provision has been contravened in relation to such goods,
Then such goods and conveyances could be confiscated.
In addition the person can be penalised under section 122, discussed in the above topics.
|Delay in filing GST returns||A late filing fee of INR 100 per day for each Act of CGST and SGST. Total daily penalty is INR 200 subject to a maximum of INR 10000. Late penalty would not be applicable on IGST|
|Not filing GST returns||Higher of 10% of the GST payable or INR 10,000|
|Committing a fraudulent offence||Higher of 100% of GST payable or INR 10,000|
|Helping an individual to commit a fraudulent offence||Up to INR 25,000|
|Opting for composition scheme when the taxpayer is not eligible for the scheme||Demand and recovery provisions under Section 73 and Section 74 would apply. For fraud case penalty would be higher of 100% of GST payable or INR 10,000. For non-fraud case it would be higher of 10% of the GST payable or INR 10,000|
|Charging higher GST rate||Higher of 100% of GST payable or INR 10,000|
|Not issuing the invoice||Higher of 100% of GST payable or INR 10,000|
|Not registering under GST||Higher of 100% of GST payable or INR 10,000|
|Creating a wrong invoice||INR 25,000|
|Frauds||100% of the GST payable subject to a minimum of INR 10,000|
|Charging wrong GST, i.e. charging IGST instead of CGST or SGST||None. The taxpayer would have to pay the correct GST amount and get a refund of the GST paid|
|Wrong filing of GST returns||None. Interest on the deficit GST @ 18%|
|Delay in paying invoice||Input Tax Credit is reversed if invoice is not paid in 6 months|
|Charging lower GST rate||18% interest on the deficit GST|
For high value tax cases, imprisonment is also applicable as penalty. The term of imprisonment would depend on the value of the case and it would also involve fines. The jail terms are as follows –
|Amount of tax||Jail term|
|INR 100 lakhs to INR 200 lakhs||Up to 1 year|
|INR 200 lakhs to INR 500 lakhs||Up to 3 years|
|More than INR 500 lakhs||Up to 5 years|
|Aids or abets in commission of any offence||Up to 6 months|
Businesses should, therefore, understand the penalties involved in non-compliance of GST rules so that they can avoid them.
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For any offence which is not mentioned individually, the penalty would extend up to INR 25,000
SMEs and small scale industries can make minor mistakes when they start business operations. Since minor breaches do not impose monetary penalties, it would be beneficial for such budding businesses.
Yes, any individual who aids and abets a GST related fraud would also incur penalties.