I-T Dept to proceed against 87,000 tax-dodgers
07 March 2019
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has asked senior income-tax officials to initiate the process of tax recovery against more than 87,000 people who were found to have deposited huge sums in banks post demonitisation and have not filed income tax (I-T) returns despite notices issued to them.
The I-T Department had identified 2.35 million such depositors with personal account numbers (PANs), but only about 1.7 million of these depositors have filed e-returns even after receiving tax notices.
The department has now directed tax officials engaged in recovery operations to complete assessment in the remaining post-demonitisation accounts by March-end.
CBDT has instructed tax officials to gather additional information about such persons and establish a trail of the funds deposited by them. The officials have also been asked to analyse any past income tax returns of these people and to ascertain the nature of their transactions during the demonetisation period (8 November to 31 December 2016).
“In cases where ultimate beneficiary of a transaction has been established, the concerned assessing officer (AO) shall forward the material available at his/her disposal to the AO having jurisdiction over the ultimate beneficiary so that appropriate action can be initiated in that case as per relevant provisions of the Act,” the CBDT said. The board also said any information regarding the entry operators, ie, those who launder cash by issuing bogus bills to clients in a particular chain, should also be forwarded to the concerned jurisdictional AO for taxing the unaccounted commission receipts.
It may be noted that post-demonitisation, the I-T Department had identified 2.35 million PAN-holders with cash deposits that are inconsistent with declared sources of income.
The department had earlier sent I-T Dept notices to 3 lakh such account-holders and recovered over Rs6,560 crore from 2.1 lakh persons who filed income-tax returns after self-assessment.
According to the I-T Department, of the 2.35 million PAN-holders, over 1.7 million had filed e-returns after receiving communication. Of these, over 1.45 million filed income-tax returns for last 3 assessment years — AY2015-16,2016-17 and 2017-18.
As of 7 January 2019, a total 4.15 lakh PAN-holders had never filed income-tax returns.
This means that tax-evaders have outlived the Voluntary Income Disclosure Scheme that was open from 1 June to 30 September 2016, and the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, which was open from December 2016 to March 2017.
The Voluntary Income Disclosure Scheme helped the government raise Rs12,700 crore in tax from 71,726 persons while the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana yielded only Rs2,451 crore in tax, with 21,000 persons declaring Rs4,900 crore of undisclosed income.