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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Maharashtra VAT(MVAT) tax audit report_interesting features

While going through form 704(electronic version) available at www.mahavat.gov.in, I noticed the following
  1. Crosscheck with other statutory data:- Where details are maintained under Central Excise, Customs or State excise, the auditor is to correlate those details and report material differences. This avoids data inconsistency and serves as a fraud check if done the right way. 
  2. Uniformity in activity codes: Unlike the income tax return which has limited set of activities, Form 704 asks for the activity code based on SIC/NIC classification. This would help analysis and statistics.
  3. Radio buttons in several areas(tax officer jurisdiction, signatory) ensure that the data quality is good and that the form filler is reminded of the law. 
  4. Emphasis on certification:- The auditor needs to give 16(!) certificates and there is a space provided in the excel sheet if he has reservations for any point. This is much more easier for the Dept and allows aggregate level analysis on systemic non compliance
  5. Asking Bank account numbers:- This is probably to cross check receipts with the return in case there is need for scrutiny. 
  6. Reconciliation of gross turnover with books of account:- This step would ensure that the Dept knows which area to cross check and it won;t need to ask that same explanation each time
  7. Fraud check:- To guard against carousel fraud/ghost dealer, the auditor is explicitly asked to certify
    1. Due professional care was exercised while auditing(really this is expected from any CA)
    2. Based on the observations of business processes, practices, inventory stock and A/c books, the dealer is dealing in the commodities under audit AND sales tax related records fairly represents the business. These checks are a signal for CA to apply some forensic accounting.

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