Tax dept says Swiggy, Instakart evaded GSTNEW DELHI: The tax department has alleged that online food delivery giant Swiggy and Walmartbacked Flipkart’s logistics arm Instakart relied on fake manpower supply to utilise input tax credit (ITC) and evade GST, senior government sources said.

Apart from GST authorities, the income tax department is also pursuing cases against the two entities, resulting in surveys at the two internet giants in Bangalore earlier this week. Data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) helped the Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) detect the alleged modus operandi of these multi-layered GST fake invoice frauds allegedly committed by Swiggy and by Instakart since 2017, sources said. Two senior officials of Instakart, who have not yet complied with the summons of DGGI in fake GST invoice frauds of availment and passing on of ITC worth Rs 21 crore, have approached the Patiala House District & Sessions Court to seek anticipatory bail on Thursday. The court, however, has listed these for hearing on January 13, 2021.

“This is factually incorrect and we vehemently deny any allegation. The investigation by the GST Authority is on the alleged GST default by two manpower service providers of Instakart and should not be misconstrued as being related to any wrongdoing by us,” a Flipkart Group spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, Swiggy which, too, has been allegedly involved in fake invoice fraud has deposited the amount involved in fraudulent ITC availment worth Rs 27.51 crore, pending investigation, sources said.

“Swiggy strongly denies the allegations that it has been complicit in any wrongdoingsby Greenfinch with respect to both it being a fictitious entity and availing bogus input tax credit. We further deny all the baseless and inaccurate statements in relation to this matter,” a Swiggy spokesperson said.

Government sources, however, denied the claims of Swiggy and Instakart that this fraudulent ITC availment and pass-on was a matter of GST compliance only with their vendors, and added that the connivance of these companies in the fake invoice frauds is very much an open fact with all the layers exposed in data analytics.

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