The Central Board of Indirect taxes and Customs (CBIC) has directed its field officers that recovery of tax dues should be made following the due legal process after issuance of adjudication order and not during searches. Accordingly, tax authorities will now face action if a taxpayer makes voluntary payment of tax during a search.
The development came after complaints of use of force and coercion by tax authorities for making recovery during the course of search or inspection. While, as per the law no recovery can be made unless the amount becomes payable in pursuance of an order passed by the adjudicating authority.
“It is clarified that there may not be any circumstance necessitating recovery of tax dues during the course of search or inspection or investigation proceedings,” the instruction said, if a taxpayer voluntarily wants to deposit GST liability, it will be done via DRC 03 on the GST portal, it further added.
“In case of any wrongdoing on the part of any tax officers, strict disciplinary action as per law may be taken against the defaulting officers,” the CBIC said in an internal department note addressed to principal commissioners/commissioners of Central GST (all zones), the commissioner, GST Investigation.
It added that in case, any complaint is received from a taxpayer regarding use of force or coercion by any of their officers for getting the amount deposited during search or inspection or investigation, it has to be enquired at the earliest.