GST SOP on GST returns scrutiny for FY 2017-2018 and FY 2018-2019

Updated on: Apr 21st, 2022 - 7:59:48 AM

7 min read

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The provisions for scrutiny of GST returns are specified under Section 61 of the Central Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017 and Rule 99 of the CGST Rules, 2017. A Scrutiny Module for online scrutiny of returns is not available. Thus, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has issued the following SOP (Standard Operating procedure) to ensure uniformity in selecting returns for scrutiny.

Section 61 Scrutiny of returns

  1. The proper officer shall scrutinise the return filed by the registered taxpayer for its correctness and notify the discrepancies identified to the taxpayer. 
  2. If the proper officer is satisfied with the taxpayer’s explanation of discrepancies, no further action will be taken.
  3. If the taxpayer fails to provide a proper explanation within 30 days of being informed by the proper officer or fails to take corrective measures in his return for the month in which such discrepancy is accepted, then the proper officer can take appropriate action under section 65, section 66 or section 67 or calculate the tax payable along with other dues as per section 73 or section 74 of the CGST Act.

Note: The Superintendent of Central Tax is assigned as a proper officer for performing functions as stated under section 61 of the CGST Act, 2017. 

Rule 99 Scrutiny of returns

  1. When a return is selected for scrutiny, the proper officer shall scrutinise the same as per section 61 based on information available to him. The discrepancies shall be intimated to the taxpayer via Form GST ASMT-10 and seek his explanation within 30 days of notice. 
  2. The registered taxpayer accepts the discrepancy, makes the payment of tax via GST DRC-03 and explains the discrepancy vide Form GST ASMT-11.
  3. On satisfactory response, the proper officer may inform the taxpayer via Form GST ASMT-12.

Selection of returns for scrutiny

The Directorate General of Analytics and Risk Management (DGARM) selects the GSTIN whose returns are to be scrutinised. They then communicate the same to the field formations through the DDM portal for further action. 

Scrutiny Schedule

is a month-wise schedule prepared by the proper officer for scrutiny regarding all GSTINs selected. The priority may be based on the revenue implication involved. The proper officer shall conduct scrutiny of three GSTINs per month. 

Process of scrutiny

  1. The proper officer scrutinises the return for its correctness based on the information available on the system in various forms and statements filed by the registered taxpayer and other sources such as DGARM, ADVAIT, E-way Bill portal etc.
  2. An indicative list of parameters (Annexure B) to be verified is available with the proper officer. But, it is just indicative and not exhaustive. He may consider any other parameter as deemed fit.
  3. Further, the proper officer is expected to depend on the information available to the Department itself. He should have a minimal interface with the taxpayer and normally should not ask for documents from the taxpayer before the issuance of Form GST ASMT-10.
  4. The proper officer shall issue a notice to the taxpayer indicating all the discrepancies noticed and seek his explanation thereon in Form GST ASMT-10. The officer shall quantify the tax, interest, and other such sums payable regarding the discrepancies noticed. If the registered taxpayer has already made the additional tax payment through Form GST DRC-03, then the same should be considered while communicating discrepancies to the taxpayer in Form GST ASMT-10.
  5. For each selected GSTIN, the proper officer must scrutinise all the returns of the corresponding financial year and issue a single notice via Form GST ASMT-10.
  6. The taxpayer may accept the discrepancy and make payment through Form GST DRC-03. The taxpayer can explain the discrepancy via Form GST ASMT-11. If the response is satisfactory, the proper officer can conclude the proceedings by informing the registered person in Form GST ASMT-11.
  7. In case no explanation is provided by the taxpayer or fails to pay tax within 30 days of intimation, the proper officer may proceed to determine the tax and other dues as per sections 73 and section 74. The officer may refer the matter to the Jurisdictional Principal Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner if he believes that an audit or investigation is required to determine the correct amount of liability. They can then decide whether the matter needs to be referred to the Audit Commissionerate or Anti Evasion Wing.

Timeline for scrutiny of returns

The scrutiny of returns shall be completed in a specified period to safeguard revenue. Below are some of the timelines:

Sr. No.ProcessTimeline
1Communicating the list of GSTINs selected for scrutiny by the DGARM to the nodal officerFrom time to time
2Communicating the list of GSTINs selected for scrutiny by the nodal officer to the proper officerWithin 3 working days from the date of receipt of the list of GSTINs from the DGARM
3Finalization of scrutiny schedule with the Assistant/ Deputy CommissionerWithin 7 working days of receipt of the list of GSTINs from the nodal officer
4Sharing the scrutiny schedule with the DGGSTWithin 30 days of receipt of the list of GSTINs from DGARM
4Issue of notice in Form GST ASMT-10Within a month as specified in the scrutiny schedule
5Issue of response in GST ASMT-11Within 30 days of receipt of notice under GST ASMT-10
6Issue of order in Form GST ASMT-12Within 30 days of receipt of response in Form GST ASMT-11
7Initiating action for determining tax under section 73 and section 74If the reply is received: Within 30 days from receipt of reply in GST ASMT-11.
If the reply is not received: Within 15 days of completion of 30 days of service of notice in GST ASMT-10 or further period as may be notified by the proper officer.
8Reference to Commissioner for taking appropriate action under section 65, section 66 or section 67If the reply is received: Within 30 days from receipt of reply in GST ASMT-11.
If the reply is not received: Within 45 days of service of notice in GST ASMT-10.

Reporting and Monitoring

A Scrutiny Register is maintained by the proper officer for all the GSTINs allotted for scrutiny. The format is mentioned in Annexure C.

GST scrutiny 2017-18

The progress of the scrutiny is monitored by the jurisdictional Principal Commissioner every month. The proper officer shall prepare a scrutiny progress report at the end of every month as mentioned in Annexure D. This report shall be forwarded to the Director-General of Goods and Service Tax by the Principal Chief Commissioner of the concerned zone by the 10th of the succeeding month. The DGGST shall submit this report to the Board by the 20th of the corresponding month.

GST scrutiny 2017-18

This SOP is designed to help the department use technology and risk-based tools to scrutinise returns properly.


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