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Profiteering—Benefit of tax reduction has not been passed by respondent on product (Johnsons & Johnsons Baby shampoo)

Section 171 of CGST Act, 2017 — Anti-profittering — In the instant case, it is alleged that the Respondent had not passed on the benefit of tax reduction from 28% to 18%, granted by the Central and the State Governments w.e.f. 15.11.2017 by maintaining the same Maximum Retail Prices (MRPs) which he was charging before the above date, in case of the two products namely (i) Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo 100 ml. and (ii) Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder 200 Gms. It was also alleged that instead of reduction. The base prices of the above two products were increased on and thus the Respondent had indulged in profiteering.
Held that— the Respondent is directed to reduce the prices of all the above products as per the provisions of Rule 133 (3) (a) of the CGST Rules, 2017 by making commensurate reduction in their prices keeping in view the reduction in the rate of tax so that the benefit is passed on to the recipients, The Respondent is also directed to deposit the profiteered amount of 5,01,646/- along with the interest to be calculated @ 18% from the date when the above amount was collected by him from his customers till the above amount is deposited. Since the recipients in this case are not identifiable the DGAP is directed to get the amount of profiteering of 5,01,646/- along with interest deposited from the Respondent in the Consumer Welfare Fund of the Central and the concerned State Govt. as per the provisions of Rule 133 (3) (c) of the CGST Rules, 2017. The above amount shall be deposited within a period of 3 months by the Respondent from the date of receipt of this order failing which the same shall be recovered by the DGAP as per the provisions of the CGST Act, 2017 and shall be deposited as has been directed vide this order, Since the present investigation in to the issue of not passing on the benefit of reduction in the rate of tax by the Respondent has been conducted w.e.f. 15.11.2017 to 31.032018 only, the DGAP is directed to further investigate the quantum of profiteering which the Respondent has made thereafter and submit his report accordingly.
It is also established from the above facts that the Respondent had issued incorrect invoices while selling all the above products to his customers as he had not correctly shown the basic prices which he should have legally charged from them. The Respondent had also compelled them to pay additional GST on the increased prices through the incorrect tax invoices which would have otherwise resulted in further benefit to the customers which he had failed to pass on, It is also established from the record that the Respondent has deliberately and consciously acted in contravention of the provisions of the CGST Act, 2017 by issuing incorrect invoices which is an offence under Section 122 (1) (i) of the above Act and hence he is liable for imposition of penalty under the above Section read with Rule 133 (3) (d) of the CGST Rules, 2017, Although notice for imposition of penalty has already been issued to the Respondent on however, no formal oral or written submissions have been filed by the Respondent on the quantum of penalty. Therefore, keeping in view the principles of natural justice it would be appropriate to issue fresh notice asking him to explain why penalty should not be imposed on him for the above offence.— Director General Of Anti-Profiteering, Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs Vs. J.P. & Sons [2018] 7 TAXLOK.COM 010 (NAPA)

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