Vehicles carrying transport goods will now have a harder time eloping GST payments. The Government of India has integrated the e-way bill (EWB) system with FASTag and RFID, which will lead to keeping real-time tabs on movement of vehicles on highways, along with tracking the ones evading taxes.
E-Way Bill Integration to Digitise Prevention of Tax Evasion
According to Cleartax, an EWay Bill is an Electronic Way bill for movement of goods to be generated on the eWay Bill Portal, put into effect from April 2018. A GST registered person cannot transport goods in a vehicle whose value exceeds Rs. 50,000 (Single Invoice/bill/delivery challan) without an e-way bill.
The GOI has integrated this e-way bill system with FASTag and RFID, which will allow GST officers to gain real-time access to the movements of commercial vehicles on highways and keep a cautious check on GST evasion.
Due to certain new features added to the tax officers’ e-way bill mobile app, real-time tracking of e-way bills and the corresponding vehicle, along with those eloping taxes, can now be held.
It will also help to identify cases where EWBs are recycled or not generated at all, in real-time, thereby preventing revenue leakage.
EWBs for vehicles with their owners having a marked (suspicious) GSTIN, can be flagged and viewed when passing through any selected toll, again, in real-time.
Some Numbers Supporting the Case
It has been stated that if a GST inspector asks for an e-way bill, the businesses and transporters must have it produced on the spot.
Reportedly, about 25 lakh goods vehicle movements have been reported from over 800 tolls, on an average, on a daily basis.
According to a report titled, ‘E-way Bill – A journey of three years’, in April last month, the government has allegedly informed the generation of nearly 180 crore e-way bills, in three years until March 2021.
61.68 crore e-way bills were generated in FY 2020-21, with 2.27 crore selected for verification.
62.88 crore e-way bills were generated in FY 2019-20, of which 3.01 crore were selected for verification.
Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka fall among the top five states to have generated the maximum number of e-way bill for inter-state movement of goods.
While the top five sectors with maximum generation of e-way bills are textiles, electrical machinery, machinery and mechanical appliances, iron and steel, and automobiles.