Govt launches 'Operation Clean Money' portal to ensure tax compliance

The union government on Tuesday launched the 'Operation Clean Money' portal, which will enable government-citizen engagement for creating a tax compliant society and transparent tax administration.

Officially launching the portal of Operation Clean Money in New Delhi on Tuesday, finance minister Arun Jaitley said, ''The new website will help honest tax payers." Jaitley also warned those dealing in black money and said "It is no longer safe to deal with excessive cash, tax-evaded money."

The finance minister said that as many as 9.1 million persons have come under the tax net in the demonetisation and e-verification process, adding that he expected further increase in tax returns going ahead.

'Operation Clean Money', initiated by the Income Tax Department (ITD) on 31 January, also identified 1.8 million persons to have evaded tax and another 5.68 lakh cases for e-verification process in the demonetisation process, during which more than 9.72 lakh taxpayers submitted online responses for 1.33 million accounts involving cash deposits of around Rs2.89 lakh crore, up till 12 May 2017.

These taxpayers have provided response for over 1.33 million accounts involving cash deposits of around Rs2.89 lakh crore. The online responses have been assessed and no further action will be taken in cases of satisfactory explanation.

The Operation Clean Money Portal will provide comprehensive information, including step-by-step guides, frequently asked questions, user guides, quick reference guides and training toolkits related to verification process and other issues, at one place.

It will enable citizen engagement for creating a tax compliant society. Citizens would be able to support 'Operation Clean Money' by taking a pledge, by engaging and educating fellow citizens, and sharing their experiences and providing feedback.

The portal would make tax administration transparent by sharing status reports, including sanitised cases and explanation of verification issues, and thematic analysis reports (e.g. taxpayer segment analysis of cash deposit data).

The ITD on-boarded two specialised data analytics agencies and a business process management agency to augment departmental capability in analysing large volumes of cash deposit data, tracking the compliance status of taxpayers and reporting entities.

In Phase II of Operation Clean Money, the high risk cases will be handled by selecting appropriate enforcement action (verification, search, survey, scrutiny). A targeted campaign will be initiated in cases with identified risk issues. The key components of the targeted campaign are:

  • Communication of specific issue through digital channels (Email, SMS etc.);
  • Providing detailed explanation to create environment of transparency;
  • Sharing investigation findings for specific segments (e.g. Jewellers, petrol pump, traders, property purchasers etc); and
  • Centralised monitoring and gradual escalation of inadequate response cases for enforcement action

With the continuous flow of information from various sources, including statement of financial transactions (SFT), the Income tax Department has also been conducting analysis in conjunction with previously available/analysed data and this has already led to identification of new cases for e-verification, says the I-T Department.

Furthermore, ITD has also identified 3.71 lakh new accounts relating to 1.58 lakh taxpayers who made partial declaration of accounts/amounts in their earlier responses. In addition to the earlier 1.8 million cases, 5.68 lakh new cases have been identified for e-verification process.