Serious Allegations by CA ESO: SGST Officials Demand 1.5% Kickback for Refunds, Raises Concerns

The Chartered Accountants Association (CAA) has raised serious concerns about rampant corruption prevailing within the SGST building. Officials of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) have been accused of causing significant distress to traders and consultants beyond the Chartered Accountant (C.A.) fraternity. The Association has lodged a request of the highest order, highlighting the extensive grievances faced by business owners and consultants alike, resulting from the actions of GST authorities. 

In response to allegations directed at Assistant Commissioners and Officers of the SGST, they insist on a 1.5% cut to be appeased before any refund is processed, adding an additional layer of complexity and discontent in the refund procedures.

Chartered Accountants Association Presses for Reforms Amid Allegations of Unethical Practices within SGST

In a noteworthy development, the Chartered Accountants Association (CAA) has issued a call for action, demanding an end to unethical practices and widespread corruption within the State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) building. This appeal extends not only to refund processing, where a 1.5% cut is demanded before any transactions are approved or declined but also encompasses various officers who seem to be non-operational in assessment procedures.

The Association has formally submitted this request to Mr. Sameer Vakil, Commissioner of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs. The seriousness of these allegations has reverberated even at the higher echelons of the GST department. In response to queries regarding these grave accusations, a senior GST official stated that any allegations of this nature do not capture their attention unless they reach a critical juncture, at which point they will be duly addressed. The atmosphere within the GST department has intensified following these severe criticisms. The official emphasized that such allegations will only be acknowledged and dealt with when they escalate to a level requiring immediate attention.

Business Owners Compelled to Offer ‘Kickbacks’ Amidst Major Refund Applications

In a significant turn of events, business owners find themselves compelled to provide unofficial compensation, colloquially known as ‘kickbacks,’ when seeking substantial refunds. According to allegations, officials handling refund cases demand a non-negotiable 1.5% cut before approving any transactions. Some officials seem to be impervious to scrutiny or accountability, adding an extra layer of concern.

For business owners, especially those dealing with substantial refund amounts, the pressure to offer these kickbacks has become a reluctantly accepted norm. The financial burden imposed on businesses, due to these unauthorized demands, has created an environment where entrepreneurs feel obliged to part with a significant portion of their rightfully earned refunds. This practice not only raises ethical questions but also highlights the challenges faced by businesses striving to reclaim their legitimate funds in a fair and transparent manner.

Delays in Registration: Traders Face Challenges with Registration Approval, Some Waiting for 60 Days

Traders are encountering significant hurdles in obtaining timely registration approvals, with many individuals reporting waiting periods extending beyond 60 days. Business owners seeking registration are expressing frustration over the prolonged processes and bureaucratic obstacles associated with obtaining the necessary approvals. 

According to Hardik Kakadiya, Deputy Chief of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (C.A.ESO.), traders are increasingly finding it difficult to navigate the registration requirements. Kakadiya asserts that the urgency for traders to register is not as pressing as officials seem to believe, emphasizing the need for a streamlined and efficient registration process that meets the needs of businesses without unnecessary delays.

Imposition of Number Blockade Reaches Alarming Levels

The situation surrounding the imposition of number blockades has escalated to unprecedented levels, marking it as one of the most distressing issues faced by the public. Authorities’ heavy-handed approach in enforcing number blockades has raised concerns and garnered criticism. Even after filing appeals, individuals find themselves subjected to penalty fines. This matter has reached the High Court, with expectations that a judicial order will assess the validity and legality of these punitive measures. The prospect of the court’s intervention adds an element of uncertainty to the enforcement of number blockades, prompting a reevaluation of the prevailing regulations.

Business Owners Urged to Attend Assessments Despite Contrary Regulations

Contrary to established norms, authorities are instructing business owners to attend assessments, emphasizing the mandatory nature of their presence during the assessment process. The procedural aspect of assessments does not explicitly require the physical presence of the business owner; however, officials insist on their attendance. This insistence often leads to an increase in the assessed tax amount. In response to complaints, officials assert that business owners have the option to appeal if dissatisfied with the assessment outcome. 

The reality, however, is that the appellate process has not been expedited, with hearings for the initial appeal taking an unusually extended period of up to 2-2.5 years. This delay raises concerns about the efficiency and accessibility of the appeal mechanism for business owners seeking recourse against assessments.

Niyati Rao

Niyati Rao is a seasoned writer and avid consumer who specializes in crafting informative and engaging articles and product reviews. With a passion for research and a knack for finding the best deals, Niyati enjoys helping readers make informed decisions about their purchases.