I-T dept seized unaccounted assets worth Rs 290 cr

The Income Tax Department seized unaccounted assets worth Rs 290.29 crore in the first half of the current financial year, Parliament was informed today.

"The Income Tax Department seized Rs 905.6 crore of unaccounted assets during the FY 2011-12 and Rs 290.29 crore during the current FY up to September 30, 2012," Minister of State for Finance S S Palanimanickam said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

On government efforts to check blackmoney, he said the department takes several punitive and deterrent steps, including scrutiny of tax returns and imposition of penalty, to unearth any unaccounted money and curb tax evasion.

Information technology is also used in a systematic way for collection and collation of information to take action against tax evaders, he added.

"The increase in direct tax collection of over six times in the last ten years, from Rs 69,198 crore in FY 2001-02 to Rs 4,46,070 crore in FY 2010-11 and growth of nearly two times in the Direct Tax to GDP ratio in the same period ...Gives an indication of better enforcement measures and improved tax compliance," Palanimanickam said.

The Direct Tax to GDP ratio was 3.03 per cent in 2001-02 and 5.66 per cent in 2010-11.

The minister further said that inter-departmental consultations are on to examine the need to open new income tax offices in other countries to put a check on black money.

Income-tax Overseas Units (ITOUs) have been established in Mauritius and Singapore.

The minister further said that orders for posting of officers to newly created ITOUs in Indian missions at Cyprus, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, UAE, UK and USA have been issued.

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