Understanding Summary and Scrutiny Under GST

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Goods and Services Tax (GST) has been a transformative reform in India, streamlining the taxation structure and promoting ease of business. With its inception, businesses shifted from a complex multi-layered tax system to a more unified and transparent one. However, along with the benefits come responsibilities, and understanding the summary and scrutiny procedures under GST is crucial for businesses to stay compliant.

Benefits of GST

  • Uniform Tax Rate: GST compliance procedures implement standard tax rates across the country that will reduce business complexities.
  • Input Tax Credit (ITC): Businesses can claim credit for taxes paid on inputs, promoting efficiency and reducing the tax burden.
  • Digital Platform: It assists in implementing a robust online platform for GST compliance procedures and eases business processes.

Compliance Responsibilities

  • Timely Filing: Businesses must adhere to deadlines for filing GST returns to avoid penalties or additional scrutiny by the officials.
  • Accurate Reporting: Accuracy in reporting transactions and ensuring proper documentation while adhering to the GST registration process is essential.
  • GSTIN Display: Displaying the Goods and Services Tax Identification Number (GSTIN) on invoices is mandatory.

Challenges and Considerations

  • Technology Adoption: Adapting to digital platforms and ensuring IT infrastructure for seamless compliance.
  • Education and Training: Continuous training for businesses to understand evolving GST regulations.
  • GST Council: Keeping abreast of updates and changes through the GST Council’s decisions and understanding input tax credit guidelines.

What is Summary and Scrutiny Under GST?

Summary and scrutiny are two sides of the same coin regarding GST compliance. These are processes implemented by the GST authorities to ensure that businesses adhere to the rules and regulations laid out by the GST law.

Summary Procedures Under GST

Summary procedures came into action to simplify the compliance process for businesses, making it more efficient and less time-consuming. These procedures are applicable for specific scenarios where the risk of non-compliance is perceived to be low.

One such summary procedure is the Composition Scheme, aimed at small businesses with a turnover below a certain threshold. Under this scheme, companies can opt for a fixed rate of tax based on their turnover, reducing the burden of detailed record-keeping and filing multiple returns.

Another notable summary procedure is the e-way bill, a mechanism to track the movement of goods. Businesses are required to generate an e-way bill for the transportation of goods exceeding a particular value. It ensures the proper documentation of goods in transit and aids in curbing tax evasion.

Scrutiny Mechanisms in GST

While summary procedures aim to simplify compliance, scrutiny mechanisms are in place to closely examine businesses’ financial records and transactions. Scrutiny serves as a tool for the GST authorities to verify the accuracy and completeness of the information businesses provide in their returns.

One of the primary scrutiny mechanisms is the GST Audit, where businesses with a turnover above a specified threshold are subject to a detailed examination of their financial records. This audit aims to ensure that companies have maintained accurate accounts, adhered to the provisions of GST, and paid the correct amount of tax.

Another scrutiny mechanism is the scrutiny of returns filed by taxpayers. The GST authorities can scrutinise the returns businesses submit, focusing on input tax credit claims, turnover reconciliation, and compliance with anti-profiteering provisions.

Impact of Non-Compliance with GST Summary and Scrutiny

Non-compliance with summary and scrutiny procedures can have severe consequences for businesses. The GST law empowers the authorities to take strict actions against companies that fail to adhere to the prescribed rules.

In the case of non-compliance with summary procedures, businesses may lose the benefits associated with schemes like the Composition Scheme. It can result in increased tax liabilities and additional compliance burdens.

On the other hand, non-compliance with scrutiny mechanisms can lead to penalties and legal actions. Businesses with discrepancies in their financial records may face fines and interest payments. In extreme cases, intentional evasion of taxes can lead to prosecution and imprisonment.

The impact of non-compliance with GST goes beyond financial repercussions. It can tarnish the reputation of a business, affecting its relationships with customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders. Trust and credibility are invaluable assets in the business world, and maintaining them requires strict adherence to GST compliance.


Understanding summary and scrutiny under GST is essential for businesses aiming for long-term success in the evolving landscape of taxation. Summary procedures provide a simplified path for compliance, especially for small businesses, while scrutiny mechanisms safeguard against potential non-compliance.

Businesses should view GST compliance not merely as a regulatory requirement but as an integral part of their operations. Staying informed about the latest updates, seeking professional guidance, and maintaining accurate records are critical elements of a robust GST compliance strategy.

Navigating the seas of GST may seem challenging. Still, with a proactive approach towards summary and scrutiny, businesses can meet regulatory requirements and contribute to the overall success and growth of the economy. Embracing compliance is not just a legal obligation; it is a strategic investment in the sustainability and reputation of the business in the long run.

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  • What is the meaning of summary and scrutiny under GST? 

GST Summary and scrutiny involve a thorough examination by tax authorities to verify self-assessment accuracy, with adjustments and penalties imposed if necessary.

  • What is the purpose of scrutiny under GST? 

The purpose of scrutiny is to authenticate the filing done by the taxpayers on the aggregate turnover of the business. With such scrutiny, the taxpayer will be liable for an explanation if the officer finds any errors or issues.

  • What is the provision for scrutiny of GST returns? 

Section 61 of CGST Act 2017 contains provisions for scrutiny of GST returns, which empowers the proper officer to scrutinise the return and related particulars furnished by the taxable person. It is done with the purpose of verifying the correctness of the return and informing him/her of the discrepancies noticed, if any, in a manner as may be prescribed.

  • Who selects the returns for scrutiny? 

The Directorate General of Analytics and Risk Management (DGARM) will select returns for scrutiny based on various risk parameters they identify.

  • What is the process of scrutiny by the proper officer? 

The proper officer shall finalise a scrutiny schedule in the prescribed format. The officer will then scrutinise the return and related particulars furnished by the taxable person. S/he will verify the correctness of the return and inform the individual of the discrepancies noticed, if any, in a manner as may be prescribed.

  • What is the timeline for scrutiny of returns? 

The timeline for scrutiny of returns is within six months of the provisional assessment. It is available in the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) under section 61 of the CGST Act, 2017, read with Rule 99 of the CGST Rules, 2017.

  • What is the reporting and monitoring process for scrutiny of returns? 

The SOP on Scrutiny of Returns provides for reporting and monitoring the scrutiny process by the proper officer.

  • What are the salient features of SOP on Scrutiny of Returns? 

The salient features of SOP on Scrutiny of Returns are the selection of returns for scrutiny, scrutiny schedule, process of scrutiny by the Proper Officer, timelines for scrutiny of returns, and reporting and monitoring.

  • What are the different types of assessments under GST?

The different types of assessments under GST are:

  • Self-assessment
  • Provisional assessment
  • Scrutiny assessment
  • Best judgement assessment
  • Assessment of non-filers of returns
  • Assessment of unregistered persons
  • Summary assessment
  • What is the provisional assessment under GST?

Provisional assessment under GST allows taxpayers to estimate their tax liability when they face challenges in determining exact figures. It permits payment based on provisional values, subject to subsequent adjustments upon finalisation of accurate details.

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Niharika Kapoor Content Writer
Niharika is a Freelance Content Writer and Translator with a Master of Arts in Literature. She has 5+ years of working in the same and has worked in different industries.

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