GST FAQs

What is the meaning of the term “Search”?

Ans. As per law dictionary and as noted in different judicial pronouncements, the term ‘search’, in simple language, denotes an action of a government machinery to go, look through or examine carefully a place, area, person, object etc. in order to find something concealed or for the purpose of discovering evidence of a crime. The search of a person or vehicle or premises etc. can only be done under proper and valid authority of law. 

What is the meaning of the term “Inspection”?

Ans. ‘Inspection’ is a new provision under the MGL. It is a softer provision than search to enable officers to access any place of business of a taxable person and also any place of business of a person engaged in transporting goods or who is an owner or an operator of a warehouse or godown. 

Who can order for carrying out “Inspection” and under what circumstances?

Ans. As per Section 60 of MGL, Inspection can be carried out by an officer of CGST/SGST only upon a written authorization given by an officer of the rank of Joint Commissioner or above. A Joint Commissioner or an officer higher in rank can give such authorization only if he has reasons to believe that the person concerned has done one of the following:

i. suppressed any transaction of supply;

ii. suppressed stock of goods in hand;

iii. claimed excess input tax credit;

iv. contravened any provision of the CGST/SGST Act to evade tax;

v. a transporter or warehouse owner has kept goods which have escaped payment of tax or has kept his accounts or goods in a manner that is likely to cause evasion of tax. 

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