The Income-Tax department has taken to the strategy of 'naming and shaming' large tax defaulters, having just published the names of 18 entities who owe over Rs500 crore in taxes.
"The step is aimed to publicise and put these names in the public domain so that the common man can come forward to help the department in knowing the whereabouts of these defaulters. The step is to enhance public awareness against these entities who are acting against law. These names were earlier were put up the department's website earlier," a senior I-T officer told PTI.
Newspapers today carried the names of the tax defaulters, and the data was provided by the principal chief commissioner of income tax (administration) in New Delhi.
Adopting an aggressive approach, government had for the first time gone public with names of 18 tax defaulters, including Goldsukh Trade and Somani Cements which, according to the I-T department, have turned willful defaulters.
In a bid to force these entities into paying their dues, a few days back the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had asked the I-T department to post on its website, the names of 18 defaulters, of whom 11 are based in Gujarat.
"Defaulters are advised to pay tax arrears immediately," said the notice.
"This is the first time the department has put in public domain a list of those willful tax defaulters who have a tax liability of Rs10 crore and above," a senior tax official had said, adding that in many cases the assessees were not "traceable".
"The department, in the public notice, has provided the PAN number and the last known address of these defaulters for the public to know," the official added.
The official said periodically the department has been proposing "naming and shaming" of willful defaulters and the step has now been taken on the last day of the current financial year today.
The companies in the list include Somani Cement with tax arrears of Rs27.47 crore, Blue Information Technology (Rs75.11 cr), Appletech Solutions (Rs27.07 cr), Jupiter Business (Rs21.31 cr) and Hirak Biotech (Rs18.54 cr).
The other Gujarat-based companies which figured in the defaulters list include Icon Bio Pharma & Healthcare Ltd (Rs17.69 cr), Banyan & Berry Alloys (Rs17.48 cr), Laxminarayan T Thakkar (Rs12.49 cr), Virag Dyeing & Printing (Rs18.57 cr), Poonam Industries (Rs15.84 cr), Kunvar Ajay Food Pvt Ltd (Rs15 cr).
Besides, names of Jaipur-based Goldsukh Trade India (Rs 75.47 cr), Kolkata-based Victor Credit & Construction (Rs13. 81 cr), Mumbai-based Noble Merchandise (Rs11.93 cr) are also there in the list.
The list also includes the legal heir of Pune-based G K Dharne involving a tax default of Rs38.31 crore.