DGGI issues guidelines against repeated summoning of CEOs of large firms

The Directorate General of GST Intelligence has issued a circular featuring guideline to reduce the impact of tax evasion investigations. The circular issued by the DGGI stated, ‘As an enforcement agency, it is imperative for the DGGI to maintain a balance wherein investigations should proceed strictly, as per law, while simultaneously ensuring that no excesses are meted out to the taxpayers and their sensibilities are respected.’

This means standard practices of summoning personnel for tax evasion investigations is likely to be reduced unless the investigation specifically demands a summons. The DGGI has also directed tax authorities to ensure the recording of a comprehensive statement in the first instance of a summons so as to reduce repeated summons of personnel. Finally, the DGGI has prescribed that the summons for calling for information should be used to gather all relevant information in one sitting and not in bits and pieces. 

The circular also threw light on other guidelines during investigations or search and seizure activities. These guidelines include the maintenance of social distancing due to the COVID 19 pandemic; being respectful towards the religious beliefs of persons even if they are under investigation and allowing women to exit a premises before conducting a search. 

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