The commercial taxes department on Saturday carried searches at 50 business firms across Bihar and detected tax swindling worth Rs 171 crore through fake e-way bills and fraudulent claim of input tax credit (ITC).
Out of the 50 firms searched, 49 firms were found to be non-existent. “Prima facie investigations show that these firms are all fictitious firms and have been involved in fraudulent transactions against the goods and service tax (GST) regulations,” said a senior officer in the commercial department.
He said all the 50 firms, claiming to be mainly engaged in iron, steel, coal, copper, bitumen, lead and other materials, were found to have made transactions worth Rs 958 crore over the past few years. The firms searched on Saturday were mostly under Saran, Patna West, Tirhut, Patna East and Darbhanga divisions of the department.
Sources said the firms were selected for searches by using data analytics and 360-degree profiling on the instructions of commissioner cum secretary, commercial taxes department Dr. Pratima.
Officials said the department had started tracking the owners of these firms involved in tax evasion and would impose penalties as per legal provisions. “We will also lodge FIRs against the persons involved in the racket and take other punitive measures,” said another officer, engaged in raids.
The commercial taxes department has witnessed a decline in revenue in the past few months owing to Covid induced lockdown following the second wave of the pandemic and is presently focused on cracking down against tax evaders to minimize losses.