Imprisonment under GST: Offences That May Land You in Jail

Imprisonment GST

If you think you can collect GST without paying to the government for three months, and no one will say anything to you, you are wrong, absolutely wrong. In fact, you may end up being behind the bars.

You will also end up being imprisoned if you issue invoice without actual supply of goods or services, or both. You will meet the same fate even if you avail the input tax credit of the above case.

Please don’t get behind the bar, instead sit inside the bar and chill. Know what crimes not to commit under GST, which can imprison you. Here is the list of offences with imprisonment as penalty:

  1. Supply of goods or services or both without the cover of GST ‘Tax Invoice’ with an intent to evade tax.
  2. If any person issues any invoice or bill without actual supply of goods or services or both leading to wrongful input tax credit or refund of tax.
  3. Any person who avails input tax credit using invoice referred in point 2 above;
  4. Collection of taxes without payment to the government for a period beyond 3 months of due date.
  5. Evasion of tax, availment of credit or obtaining refund with an intent of fraud where such offence is not covered in point 1 to 4 above.
  6. Falsifying records or production of false records/ accounts/ documents/ information with an intent to evade tax.
  7. Obstructs or prevents any officer from doing his duties under the act.
  8. Acquires or transports or in any manner or deals with any goods which he knows are liable for confiscation under this Act.
  9. Receives or in any way, deals with any services or has reason to believe are in contravention of any provisions of this law.
  10. Tampers with or destroys any material evidence or documents.
  11. Fails to supply any information which he is required to supply under this law or supply false information/.
  12. Attempts or abets the commission of any of the offences mention above.

For all of the above types of offences, the taxpayer can be imprisoned for a period of upto 5 years. All offences mentioned in this section are non-cognizable and bailable except the following cases:

  • Where the amount exceeds 5 Crores
  • Instances covered by Points 1 to 4 above.

The quantum of fine and time of imprisonment varies depending on the amount of tax evaded or seriousness of the offence:

Imprisonment for Offences under GST

Amount of Tax Evaded Period of Imprisonment
More than 5 Crores Upto 5 Years
Rs.2 to Rs.5 Crores Upto 3 Years
Rs. 1 to Rs.2 Crores Upto 1 Year
Less than 1 Crore No Imprisonment

In case the offender is a company, every person who, at the time the offence was committed oversaw the conduct of business of the company, will be deemed to be guilty of the offence and would be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

So, pay GST on time, file returns on time and comply with all the laws. If you need help, Moneyम्जी can help you, but don’t end up being penalized or imprisoned. Call us at +91-9711730497 or mail us at

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