The Income Tax Department and the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) are all set to sign an MoU that will allow the two to match their data regarding company financials so as to pin down any anomalies.
The department order provides for the Principal Director General or Director General of Income Tax (Systems) to sign an MoU with the GSTN allowing them to send information on assessees to the nodal officer in the GSTN.
The order, dated April 30, states that the GSTN can ask for and be provided data relating to an assessee’s status of filing income tax returns, turnover, gross total income, financial ratios, and any other data with the I-T Department to be decided at a later date. The order also provides for the automatic exchange of such data, and not just based on requests, the modalities of which will be decided.
“While furnishing the information, the specified Income Tax authority shall form an opinion that sharing of such information is necessary for the purposes of enabling the specified authority in GSTN to perform its functions under the Goods and Services Tax,” the order said.
The MoU will also include the rules pertaining to the modalities of the exchange, the confidentiality of the data, and the “weeding out after usage”.
“Facilitation of exchange of data between authorities under income-tax and GST is indicative of the government’s intention not to spare taxpayers from escaping tax payable under any of the laws,” Rakesh Nangia, managing partner, Nangia Advisors, said.
“With more information in hand, the government would be able to validate amount of income disclosed both under the Income-tax and GST which would enable the authorities to identify any under-reporting or non-reporting of income, if any,” Mr Nangia added.