Gujarat Goods And Services Tax Officials on Friday raided six furniture retailers for non-compliance with GST. Based on systematic data analysis and assessment reviews, the sleuths narrowed down on six major players in the furniture segment in Surat.
The defaulters include Adinath Furniture, Alta Vista Traders, Dakshesh Furniture, Lifestyle Furniture, Furniture M/s Is. All electronics from the proprietors and some accounting literature were seized.
The business concerns, perhaps, underestimated the tax department by showing false exports. “Refund claims by way of exports come under the purview of the state GST department. Upon examination, it was noticed that the company applied showing a zero-rated supply in the Special Economic Zone,” stated sources in the state tax department.
While interrogating the proprietors, GST officials learnt of account books hidden at a closed house in the Jivraj Bridge area. “Our team immediately visited the site and seized the same,” he added.
During the raid a large quantity of accounting literature and digital data storage devices were found including 13 mobile phones, 21 SIM cards, 2 laptops, 1 hard disk, 1 CPU, 8 pen drives, 142 rubber stamps, 30 cheque books, passbooks, PAN card, Aadhaar card and 16 office keys.
Preliminary examination also reveals that a GST registration was secured by showing financially-low income persons as owners/partners/ directors. The modus operandi was to use furniture showrooms as the business. In reality, low-cost readymade garments, leather articles and jewellery at high prices were exported to Africa, Dubai and other countries. By obtaining bogus bills of inward supply of goods for such indicated export, a false refund of Rs 20 crore was obtained from the government. Investigation into the fraud is underway.