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NAA’s directive on audit of e-comm cos stuck over jurisdiction issue


The GST audit of e-commerce companies ordered by the National Anti-profiteering Authority is stuck over the issue of jurisdiction, as the CBIC is of the view that the NAA has no powers to give such directions, an official said.

The NAA, earlier this month, wrote to the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) saying that DG Audit should scrutinise the accounts of all e-commerce companies to see if they have refunded to the customers any excess GST collection.

The CBIC, the official said, is also of the opinion that it is not technically feasible for DG Audit to scrutinise books of all e-commerce companies because some of them might be registered with the state governments.

“The NAA has said that all e-commerce companies should be audited. But it is not feasible since DG Audit can only audit those companies which are registered with the Centre. Those who are registered with states, the state tax officials would have jurisdiction over them,” an official told PTI.

The CBIC, the official further said, will soon be sending its response to the letter written by NAA in this regard.

Elaborating further, the official said that tax authorities of Centre and states can undertake cross enforcement actions, but jurisdiction would come into play in case of assessment and regular scrutiny of assessees.

In May, the NAA had directed the Directorate General of Audit, a wing of CBIC, to scrutinise the books of major e-commerce platforms to find out if they have refunded the excess GST collected from customers.

In view of the reluctance shown by DG Audit to comply with NAA directions, the quasi-judicial authority wrote to the CBIC making a case for a pan-India audit of major e-commerce companies.

The NAA had pointed out that Flipkart alone had 7,254 cases wherein it was supposed to refund excess GST collected and that they had started after the NAA order in July. It further said that there is a likelihood of such excess GST collection by other e-commerce platforms.

Source: Economic Times