Indians dodged almost half a billion in sales taxes over 12 months, government says

  • India has detected nearly half a billion dollars worth of evasion of its landmark Goods and Services Tax (GST).
  • The GST, which was implemented exactly one year ago on July 1, attempts to created a unified tax structure across all Indian states to better facilitate business flows.
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Poras Chaudhary | Getty Images

The Indian government has detected tax evasion worth almost half a billion dollars from its landmark sales levy system, the Times of India has reported.

From July 2017 to June 2018, a total of 32,060,000,000 rupees ($441,000,000) had been lost through a total of 1,205 cases, India's Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla told parliament on Tuesday.

The news comes as India's landmark sales tax system, the Goods and Services Tax (GST), turned one year old on July 1. The GST, a major economic reform implemented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, established a unified sales tax structure across all of India's 29 states in an attempt to curb malpractice and more easily facilitate business flows.

The cases of evasion include misdeclaration on tax returns and tax declared but not paid, among other strategies, Shukla is quoted as saying in the English language Times of India.

Around 4 percent of registered tax payers in India contribute to roughly 80 percent of the total tax collected, the newspaper detailed.

Separately, Shukla said that over 3,630 kilograms of gold worth $157,000,000 had also been seized since the GST was implemented.

For more on this story, see this Times of India report.