It has been a key challenge for policymakers that the business enterprises have not been passing on the benefit of reduced tax burden. In furtherance of the objective to ensure that consumers enjoy the benefit of lower prices of goods and services under GST, the Government has now released the Anti-Profiteering Application Form (APAF - 1) which can be used by a consumer of goods or services to file a complaint before the anti-profiteering committee against businesses for not passing on benefits of lower taxes in the goods and services tax (GST).
The suppliers of goods and services are under obligation to pass on any reduction in the rate of tax or the benefit of input tax credit to consumers by way of commensurate reduction in prices and if they fail to do the same, the interest of the consumer shall be protected by the National Anti-Profiteering Authority which has the authority to order:
- Reduction in prices;
- Return of the amount not passed on with interest @ 18% to the recipient;
- Imposition of penalty; and
- Cancellation of registration of the supplier.
The form also contains contact details of the Standing Committee on Anti-profiteering. The complaint will have to be filed in this form before the standing committee on anti-profiteering for all-India complaints or before the state screening committees if the profiteering is of a local nature.
The consumer can file the complaint based on the suspicion of profiteering, however, he/she shall be required to furnish details of the sale price of the product and the tax rates applicable on the product in the pre as well as post GST era. The same has to be backed by documentary evidences like invoice, price list etc. This 3 page form includes detailed instructions to prescribe a methodology to ascertain whether companies are passing on the tax reduction under GST and benefits derived from input tax credits to consumers.