The Supreme Court of India has issued a ruling that has significant implications for businesses claiming input tax credit (ITC) under the Value Added Tax (VAT) regime. The court has overturned a Karnataka High Court order that allowed dealers to claim ITC by producing invoices and cheque payments, ruling that dealers must prove the genuineness of the transaction and the actual physical movement of goods to claim ITC.
The Supreme Court stated that the occurrence of the actual transaction and the actual physical movement of goods must be proven beyond doubt for ITC claims to be valid. The court added that the genuineness of the transaction and the physical movement of goods could only be proven by furnishing the name and address of the selling dealer, details of the vehicle that delivered the goods, payment of freight charges, acknowledgement of taking delivery of goods, tax invoices, and payment particulars.
The court emphasized that while a tax invoice and cheque payment can be considered as one of the documents required to prove the genuineness of the transaction, they are not sufficient on their own. The court's decision highlights the need for additional documents to substantiate input tax claims.
The court's ruling has significant implications for businesses claiming ITC under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. While the ruling is under VAT, GST authorities may now ask for additional documents to substantiate input tax claims by placing reliance on the principles laid down in the ruling. However, documents such as e-way bills and e-invoicing, which are mandatory under the GST regime, can help businesses substantiate the genuineness of their transactions.
In conclusion, the Supreme Court's ruling has emphasized the need for businesses to provide additional documents to substantiate their input tax claims. The ruling also highlights the importance of e-way bills and e-invoicing in substantiating the genuineness of transactions under the GST regime.
The author is a Chartered Accountant with 2 decades of experience into Accounting, Taxation, Auditing, Risk & Compliance, Credit Controls, Due diligence. Currently author is founder and managing partner at RRL Global services.