The Central Excise Superintendents Association (CESA), Mumbai, has lodged an official complaint with the Chief Commissioner, CGST (Central Good and Services Tax), and Revenue Secretary Hashmukh Adhia on the issues of abusive replies from taxpayers and alleged harassment by senior commissioners for forcing officers to visit taxpayers’ premises without authorisation.
On January 14, women GST officer Shenoy from Range 3 of the CGST office, Mumbai, issued a notice to Angus & Coote Jewels regarding filing of its returns and a questionnaire enclosed with the mail. In return, she got expletive-laden replies from the customer.
The complaint mentions another instance where a GST officer issued a notice to Drulogic Technologies Pvt Ltd for not filing return and received abusive reply, saying he would report to the crime branch. When contacted by a media group, Pankaj Sharma, CEO of Drulogic Technologies, confessed that he replied to the email, saying “if the notice is coming from a Gmail id or not from an official id, how would I know whether the person concerned is a GST officer or a scamster?”
Meanwhile, the CESA has decided to raise to raise the matter before the Ministry of Finance.
Complain of harassment by seniors
The association has also raised another issue of alleged harassment by senior officials. The CESA named two officers of Division 6 of Thane Commissionerate, Assistant Commissioner Shruti Vijayakumar and Commissioner Vimalanathan, for forcing officers to visit premises of taxpayers without their consent. The GST policies impress upon less contact with taxpayers so that harassment can be avoided.
“Officers have been directed to enlist the non-fliers and issue notices to such tax payers. Whereas, in the Thane Commissionerate, officers are being forced to visit the premises of these people without authorisation,” the complaint stated.
Under the GST policy, officers can visit premises only on the basis of authorisation letter signed by joint/additional commissioner.
According to business standard report ,Chief Commissioner Sharma said the department follows the GST rules regarding door-to-door visits and GST collection from non-filers. “But we have directed our commissionerates to follow certain rules. Assesses are my clients, they have full rights to know from where the officers are coming.” The CESA has also sent a copy of the complaint to Revenue Secretary Hashmukh Adhia.