Pune GST intelligence raids two pubs, CA firm

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Pune – As part of an All India Operation by the Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI), the Pune Zonal Unit of DGGI also targeted tax evaders collecting GST from customers and pocketing it, instead of paying the same to the Government exchequer. It involved action against various Bars & Lounges, in a posh locality of Pune as well as big Chartered Accountancy and Consultancy firms having pan India operations.

During this exercise, coordinated by Mr. Vikram Wani, Additional Director, DGGI, Pune, and deputy director Vaishali Patange, raids were conducted by officials of DGGI, at Mumbai and Pune.

Preliminary investigations revealed that Firms engaged in Chartered Accountancy and Consulting Services have collected GST from their customers of around Rs. 13.5 crores and not paid to the Government. During the searches, GST of Rs 2 crores was recovered from them on the spot.

Alcoholic drinks are outside the purview of GST. However, some Lounges have adopted the modus operandi of charging GST on Alcoholic drinks also and not paying that to Government Exchequer. In case of one Lounge, on this modus operandi, such GST collected from customers on Alcoholic drinks, but not deposited with the Government was found to be around Rs 20 lakhs.

Interestingly, Hookahs are also consumed in such Lounges located in that elite locality of Pune, and no GST is paid on such Hookahs. Another lounge was found having turnover of more than Rs 6.5 crores, but had not even taken GST Registration, even though the Law requires GST registration must be taken when turnover crosses Rs. 20 Lakhs.

DGGI officers directed the owners of that lounge to obtain the GST registration immediately and pay GST. Such cases of blatant tax evasion, where GST is collected from customers and pocketed by businessmen, instead of depositing in to Government account, are also a fraud on the general public.

The Government is able to provide services to the general public only out of the Tax collection. DGGI is the Apex agency to tackle evasion of GST and Pune Zonal Unit of DGGI will continue to work against such GST evaders in future too. People may come forward and contribute in the effective implementation of GST by sharing information about GST evasion instances. Anonymity of such persons would be maintained.