Do You know you can fall prey to fake GST Invoice Scams? Yes, you heard me right. Scammers these days are creating fake GST bills to dupe people. A fake GST bill is generated without actual payment of GST or supply of goods or services. There are several reasons behind fake GST invoice generation by fraudsters including tax evasion, money laundering, fake purchases, converting income tax credit into cash, and more.
To avoid fake GST invoices, people must be aware about the ways to recognize and report it. One of the best ways to identify fake GST bills is to proofread the originality of the invoice. After the implementation of GST system in India in 2017, the cases of fake GST invoices have increased significantly in the country.
Since the GST bill has all important information about the the buyer and seller like product details, product rate, date of purchase, number of products sold, date of purchase, seller name, buyer name and more, scammers can easily exploit this data to dupe people for their benefit. Let us check out some easy ways to identify fake GST invoices and report them to avoid scams.
Steps To Identify Fake GST Invoices or Bills
1. Verification of GSTIN Numbers of Goods Supplier: One of the best ways to check the credibility of a GST invoice is to verify its GSTIN (Goods and Services Tax Identification Number). All registered sellers and goods suppliers have a unique 15-digit GSTIN, comprising a combination of state code, PAN number, and unique registration number. If you suspect a GST bill, follow below steps to verify the invoice.
Go to gst.gov.in.
On the homepage, search and click on 'Search Taxpayer' tab.
In the search bar, enter the GSTIN of supplier, mentioned on the bill.
Hit the search button and all the details of supplier will show up on the screen, if the invoice is valid.
2. Cross Check the GST Invoice Number: Checking the invoice number and date listed on the GST bill is the next step. Verify that the invoice number is distinct, consecutive, and that the date falls within the allotted window of time. A fake GST bill may be identified easily by any disparity in the invoice number or date.
3. Check the Status of Tax Payment by Supplier: It is mandatory for suppliers to pay the tax against each bill. So, if yo want to verify whether the supplier has paid the tax of your bill or not, you must go to the GST portals and check in the GST return section. If the tax is paid, the GST invoice is legit.
4. Verify the Signature of Supplier: In case you doubt the authenticity of a GST invoice, you must verify the signature of the supplier. It is mandatory for product suppliers and sellers to sign the GST bills. Therefore, in case of any doubt, you must reach out to GST authorities for signature verification.
5. Verify HSN or SAC Codes of Goods & Services: All goods and services are provided with unique Harmonized System of Nomenclature (HSN) and Services Accounting Code (SAC) respectively. The HSN and SAC code should be mentioned correctly on each GST invoice. In case of any discrepancy, you can verify these codes on the GST portal.
How To Report Fake GST Bill or Invoice
Following are some of the ways to raise a complaint and report against a fake GST bill or invoice.
Go to the official GST portal and raise a web ticket under 'CBEC Mitra Helpdesk' section.
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach out to concerned officials on Twitter through their officials IDs like @askGST_GoI and @FinMinIndia.
Reach out to the officials through helpline numbers mentioned on the officials GST portals.