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August 19, 2020

DGGI issues Circular for saving GST Taxpayer from Harassment

by CA Shivam Jaiswal in GST, GST Circular Notification

DGGI issues Circular for saving GST Taxpayer from Harassment

The Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) has issued a Circular dated August,14 wherein guidelines have been laid down, in order to reduce the impact of investigations and ensure that no excesses are committed that include minimal personal summons, no repeated summons and generally not issuing summons to CEOs and CFOs of large companies in the first instance for GST evasion.

“As an enforcement agency, it is imperative for the DGGI to maintain a balance wherein investigations should proceed strictly, as per law, while simultaneously ensuring that no excesses are meted out to the taxpayers and their sensibilities are respected,” the DGGI has said in the circular.

In order to minimise the personal appearance, the DGGI has asked the officers to ensure that a summon for personal appearance is issued only when specifically required.

Also, summons should not be issued repeatedly and as far as practicable, a comprehensive statement should be recorded in the first instance itself.

The objective behind such a step is that any harassment is avoided with repeated summons, personal appearances and whatever needs to be recorded is done at the first instance.

The DGGI has also prescribed that summons for calling for information should also not be issued in a piecemeal manner and as far as possible all relevant information should be gathered in one go.

“Senior management officials such as CEO, CFO, General Manager of a large company or a PSU should not generally be issued summons at the first instance unless the evidence suggests otherwise,” DGGI said.

Further in said Circular DGGI also said that Children should be allowed to go to school, after examining their bags. A woman occupying any premises, to be searched, has the right to withdraw before the search party enters if according to the customs she does not appear in public.

If a person on the premises is not well, a medical practitioner may be called. Religious sentiments of the person under search should not hurt in any way.

It was further stated in the Circular that amid the COVID-19 pandemic, proper social distancing norms should be followed and the search team should take all precautionary measures as contained in the guidelines.

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