Tax authorities scrutinising large post-demonetisation deposits

Revenue authorities have sent emails and text messages to about 1.3 million of the 1.8 million people identified for making suspicious and large cash deposits after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's sudden move to abolish high-value notes.

These accounts are being scrutinised for possible tax evasion in the government's crackdown on black money while the remaining will receive their "please explain" notice tomorrow, said Sushil Chandra, chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).

He said these 1.8 million accounts have "unaccounted cash of Rs4,70,000 crore, which means that the deposits in those accounts holders does not match their deposits.

The tax department said earlier this week that data analytics and taxpayer profiling is being used to identify problem cases, officials have said, with focus on deposits above five lakh per account.

Chandra said people have 10 days to respond to their notices and can provide their answers online.

Since the 8 November 2016 announcement of PM Narendra Modi on demonetisation of high-value currencies, people were given time till the end of December to return or exchange the banned Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes.

Revenue authorities wanted depositors to explain deposits over Rs2.5 lakh to be taxed accordingly, the government said, warning that those whose deposits were suspicious would be singled out for investigation, while an amnesty scheme enables the declaration of any hidden wealth with payment of a stiff penalty.