60,000 persons under I-T lens

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Using its advanced data analytical tools, the income tax (I-T) department has identified over 60,000 persons for probe under the second phase of the ‘operation clean money’ which was launched on Friday to dig up suspected cash transactions during note ban. The tax department on Friday said that out of 60,000 persons, nearly 1,300 are in the high-risk category where detailed investigations are being carried out.

The high risk categories identified include businesses claiming cash sales as the source of cash deposits which is found to be excessive compared to their past profile or industry norms. Cash deposits made by government or PSU employees are also under scanner.

“More than 6,000 transactions of high value property purchase and 6,600 cases of outward remittances shall be subjected to detailed investigations under OCM (operation clean money),” a finance ministry statement said.

It would have taken about a year for the tax department to examine all the doubtful and non-tax compliant accounts. With the help of technology and continuous enforcement action, it hopes to bring most of the unaccounted money to tax net.

The I-T department is in the process of mining all the data collected during demonetisation and analyse them to identify tax dodgers. The move is set to help the department broaden tax net and create


“One of the stated objectives of demonetisation was ‘elimination of black money that casts a long shadow of parallel economy on our real economy. The OCM and the subsequent enforcement actions being undertaken by the ITD (tax department) shall continue to achieve the goal set out by the government,” the official statement said.

The tax department has launched massive search and survey drive after demonetisation to flush out black money. It has carried out more than 2,362 search, seizure and survey actions between November 6 2016 and February 28 2017 leading to seizure of valuables worth more than Rs 818 crore. During the drive, it has detected undisclosed income of more than Rs 9,334 crore.

According to official data, more than 400 cases have been referred by I-T department to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Surveys have been conducted in more than 3,400 cases by assessment units.

In the first phase of the operation clean money, the department had identified 17.92 lakh people who entered into cash transactions that did not appear to be in line with their tax profile. They were contacted via the online medium for justifying these cash dealings. Of this, only 9.46 lakh persons responded on pre-defined parameters of sources of the cash deposits. Online queries were raised in 35,000 cases and on-line verification was completed in more than 7,800 cases.

“It has been decided to close the verification in cases where explanation of source of cash was found to be justified. In cases where the cash deposit has been declared under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna (PMGKY), the verifications would also be closed,” the finance ministry said.

The follow-up actions seem to be yielding desired results. While there has been an increase of 21.7 per cent in the returns of income received in FY17, the gross tax collection has grown 16 per cent (the highest in the last five years).


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