The Directorate General of Safeguards (DGS), the investigation arm of the Revenue Department has sent notices under GST anti-profiteering law to three entities for allegedly not passing benefit of cost reduction to consumers, reported PTI.
A franchisee of McDonald's, Hardcastle Restaurant was served with the notice last week. A consumer had complained that the restaurant had charged the same price for McCafe Regular Latte pre and post the GST rate reduction, i.e. from 18 per cent to 5 per cent (on restaurants). Besides this, Sharma Trading Company also received the same after complaint filed by a departmental store for not reducing the price on a body lotion variant of Vaseline. The GST rate was lowered to 8% from 28% on it.
These entities have up til January 12 to file replies to the notice served on whether or not they admit that the benefit of reduction in tax has been passed on to consumers with corresponding reduction in prices.
The government had reduced the prices of over 170 goods and services in its revision of GST, with effect from November 15, 2017.
In the past month, notices have been served to Lifestyle International Pvt Ltd in Mahagun Mall, Vaishali, Ghaziabad; UP- based Vrandavanesharee Automotive Pvt Ltd, authorised dealer of Honda Cars and real estate Pyramid Infratech based in Gurugram, Haryana.
These entities have been asked to submit copies of balance sheet, profit and loss account of 2016-17, GST returns for July-September and details of invoice wise outward taxable supplies, price list prior to and post November 15, 2017, according to the notices posted on DGS website.
If the complaints have merit, the respective committees would refer the cases for further investigation to the Directorate General of Safeguards (DGS). The DG Safeguards would generally take about three months to complete the investigation and send the report to the anti-profiteering Authority, reported PTI.
If the investigation proves that the GST benefits were not passed, it will direct the entity to pass on the benefits to consumers along with an 18 per cent interest as imposed penalty. If a specific beneficiary is not identified, it will ask the company to transfer the amount to the consumer welfare fund within a specified timeline.
The authority has the power to cancel the entities' registration if fails to do so.