Section 67 of GST Act: Power of inspection, search and seizure

Amended and updated notes on section 67 of CGST Act, 2017. Detail discussion on provisions and rules related to power of inspection, search and seizure.

Amended and updated notes on section 67 of CGST Act, 2017. Detail discussion on provisions and rules related to power of inspection, search and seizure.

Chapter XIV (Sections 6772) of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 deals with the provisions related to inspection, search, seizure and arrest. Section 67 of CGST 2017 provides for power of inspection, search and seizure.

Recently, we have discussed in detail section 66 (Special audit) of CGST Act 2017. Today, we learn the provisions of section 67 of Central GST Act 2017.

Section 67 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 has been notified by the Ministry of Finance vide Notification No. 9/2017-Central Tax, G.S.R. 658(E), dated 28.06.2017. This notification was come into force from 1st July, 2017 i.e. the commencement date of section 67 is 1-7-2017.

Name of ActThe Central Goods and Services Tax Act 2017
Enacted byParliament of India
Administered byCentral Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs
Governing bodyGST Council
Number of Chapters21
Number of Sections174
You are reading:
Chapter No.XIV
Chapter NameInspection, Search, Seizure and Arrest
Section No.67
Section NamePower of inspection, search and seizure
Updated 2024 EditionGST Law Book PDF

Relevant Rules and Forms for GST Section 67:

  • Rule 139: Inspection, search and seizure
    • FORM GST INS-01: Authorisation for Inspection or Search
    • FORM GST INS-02: Order of Seizure
    • FORM GST INS-03: Order of Prohibition
  • Rule 140: Bond and security for release of seized goods
    • FORM GST INS-04: Bond for Release of Goods Seized
  • Rule 141: Procedure in respect of seized goods
    • FORM GST INS-05: Order of Release of Goods/ Things of Prishable or Hazardous Nature

Section 67 of Central GST – Power of inspection, search and seizure1

Section 67 of CGST Act 2017 shall come into force on 01.07.2017 vide Notification No. 9/2017-Central Tax, G.S.R. 658(E), dated 28.06.2017.

Section 67(1) of CGST Act

Section 67(1): Where the proper officer, not below the rank of Joint Commissioner, has reasons to believe that––

  • (a) a taxable person has suppressed any transaction relating to supply of goods or services or both or the stock of goods in hand, or has claimed input tax credit in excess of his entitlement under this Act or has indulged in contravention of any of the provisions of this Act or the rules made thereunder to evade tax under this Act; or
  • (b) any person engaged in the business of transporting goods or an owner or operator of a warehouse or a godown or any other place is keeping goods which have escaped payment of tax or has kept his accounts or goods in such a manner as is likely to cause evasion of tax payable under this Act,

he may authorise in writing any other officer of central tax to inspect any places of business of the taxable person or the persons engaged in the business of transporting goods or the owner or the operator of warehouse or godown or any other place.

Section 67(2) of CGST Act

Section 67(2): Where the proper officer, not below the rank of Joint Commissioner, either pursuant to an inspection carried out under sub-section (1) or otherwise, has reasons to believe that any goods liable to confiscation or any documents or books or things, which in his opinion shall be useful for or relevant to any proceedings under this Act, are secreted in any place, he may authorise in writing any other officer of central tax to search and seize or may himself search and seize such goods, documents or books or things:

Provided that where it is not practicable to seize any such goods, the proper officer, or any officer authorised by him, may serve on the owner or the custodian of the goods an order that he shall not remove, part with, or otherwise deal with the goods except with the previous permission of such officer:

Provided further that the documents or books or things so seized shall be retained by such officer only for so long as may be necessary for their examination and for any inquiry or proceedings under this Act.

Section 67(3) of CGST Act

Section 67(3): The documents, books or things referred to in sub-section (2) or any other documents, books or things produced by a taxable person or any other person, which have not been relied upon for the issue of notice under this Act or the rules made thereunder, shall be returned to such person within a period not exceeding thirty days of the issue of the said notice.

Section 67(4) of CGST Act

Section 67(4): The officer authorised under sub-section (2) shall have the power to seal or break open the door of any premises or to break open any almirah, electronic devices, box, receptacle in which any goods, accounts, registers or documents of the person are suspected to be concealed, where access to such premises, almirah, electronic devices, box or receptacle is denied.

Section 67(5) of CGST Act

Section 67(5): The person from whose custody any documents are seized under sub-section (2) shall be entitled to make copies thereof or take extracts therefrom in the presence of an authorised officer at such place and time as such officer may indicate in this behalf except where making such copies or taking such extracts may, in the opinion of the proper officer, prejudicially affect the investigation.

Section 67(6) of CGST Act

Section 67(6): The goods so seized under sub-section (2) shall be released, on a provisional basis, upon execution of a bond and furnishing of a security, in such manner and of such quantum, respectively, as may be prescribed or on payment of applicable tax, interest and penalty payable, as the case may be.

Section 67(7) of CGST Act

Section 67(7): Where any goods are seized under sub-section (2) and no notice in respect thereof is given within six months of the seizure of the goods, the goods shall be returned to the person from whose possession they were seized:

Provided that the period of six months may, on sufficient cause being shown, be extended by the proper officer for a further period not exceeding six months.

Section 67(8) of CGST Act

Section 67(8): The Government may, having regard to the perishable or hazardous nature of any goods, depreciation in the value of the goods with the passage of time, constraints of storage space for the goods or any other relevant considerations, by notification, specify the goods or class of goods which shall, as soon as may be after its seizure under sub-section (2), be disposed of by the proper officer in such manner as may be prescribed.

Section 67(9) of CGST Act

Section 67(9): Where any goods, being goods specified under sub-section (8), have been seized by a proper officer, or any officer authorised by him under sub-section (2), he shall prepare an inventory of such goods in such manner as may be prescribed.

Section 67(10) of CGST Act

Section 67(10): The provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, relating to search and seizure, shall, so far as may be, apply to search and seizure under this section subject to the modification that sub-section (5) of section 165 of the said Code shall have effect as if for the word “Magistrate”, wherever it occurs, the word “Commissioner” were substituted.

Section 67(11) of CGST Act

Section 67(11): Where the proper officer has reasons to believe that any person has evaded or is attempting to evade the payment of any tax, he may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, seize the accounts, registers or documents of such person produced before him and shall grant a receipt for the same, and shall retain the same for so long as may be necessary in connection with any proceedings under this Act or the rules made thereunder for prosecution.

Section 67(12) of CGST Act

Section 67(12): The Commissioner or an officer authorised by him may cause purchase of any goods or services or both by any person authorised by him from the business premises of any taxable person, to check the issue of tax invoices or bills of supply by such taxable person, and on return of goods so purchased by such officer, such taxable person or any person in charge of the business premises shall refund the amount so paid towards the goods after cancelling any tax invoice or bill of supply issued earlier.


Notified Goods disposed after its Seizure

[Notification No. 27/2018-Central Tax, G.S.R. 550(E) dated 13th June 2018]

In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (8) of section 67 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (12 of 2017) (hereinafter referred to as the said Act), the Central Government hereby notifies the goods or the class of goods (hereinafter referred to as the said goods) mentioned in the Schedule below, which shall, as soon as may be after its seizure under sub-section (2) of section 67 of the said Act, be disposed of by the proper officer, having regard to the perishable or hazardous nature, depreciation in value with the passage of time, constraints of storage space or any other relevant considerations of the said goods.

SCHEDULE

  1. Salt and hygroscopic substances
  2. Raw (wet and salted) hides and skins
  3. Newspapers and periodicals
  4. Menthol, Camphor, Saffron
  5. Re-fills for ball-point pens
  6. Lighter fuel, including lighters with gas, not having arrangement for refilling
  7. Cells, batteries and rechargeable batteries
  8. Petroleum Products
  9. Dangerous drugs and psychotropic substances
  10. Bulk drugs and chemicals falling under Section VI of the First Schedule to the Customs Tariff Act, 1975 (51 of 1975)
  11. Pharmaceutical products falling within Chapter 30 of the First Schedule to the Customs Tariff Act, 1975 (51 of 1975)
  12. Fireworks
  13. Red Sander
  14. Sandalwood
  15. All taxable goods falling within Chapters 1 to 24 of the First Schedule to the Customs Tariff Act, 1975 (51 of 1975)
  16. All unclaimed/abandoned goods which are liable to rapid depreciation in value on account of fast change in technology or new models etc.
  17. Any goods seized by the proper officer under section 67 of the said Act, which are to be provisionally released under sub-section (6) of section 67 of the said Act, but provisional release has not been taken by the concerned person within a period of one month from the date of execution of the bond for provisional release.
  1. Section 67 of CGST Act 2017 shall come into force on 01.07.2017 vide Notification No. 9/2017-Central Tax, G.S.R. 658(E), dated 28.06.2017. ↩︎


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