Income Tax Dept to probe deeper into suspicious bank accounts
January, 23rd 2017
The Income Tax Department has widened its scrutiny of suspicious transactions postdemonetisation to cover term deposit accounts, loan repayments and advance remittances for imports in the postdemonetisation period. A senior official confirmed that after analysing cash deposits made in bank and post office accounts during the 50-day window provided to get rid of the junked 500 and 1,000 rupee notes, authorities are now examining term deposit and loan accounts that were opened after November 8 demonetisation decision.
There has been a four-fold jump in the regular "suspicious transaction reports" from banks and these are now being closely examined, he added.
The Income Tax Department is already taking action in cases where cash deposits above Rs 50,000 have been made without quoting PAN.
Senior officials are confident that the demonetisation exercise will lead to a huge expansion in the tax base and a jump in direct tax collection.
With preliminary estimates showing that close to Rs 15 lakh crore of the Rs 15.44 lakh crore of old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes that were in circulation before demonetisation have made their way back to banks, the government is stepping up its investigations.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has already stated that merely depositing old notes in banks does not turn them white and the Income Tax Department would be closely looking at these accounts.
It is easier to track the cash which has returned to banking channels, thus making tax evasion more difficult, a senior official pointed out.
The focus is also on non-cash deposits in various bank accounts by way of RTGS and other means, and would continue to share its findings with the concerned law enforcement agencies. Analysis of the deposits made, by way of cash and non-cash, in various kinds of new accounts including term deposit accounts and loan accounts that have been opened during the period of demonetisation is being done, he said.
Income tax department and other agencies like ED are taking action based on the analysis. On analysis, details of more than 60 lakh accounts which have cash deposits of Rs 2 lakh and above have been disseminated and the total amount deposited in these accounts is more than Rs 7.34 lakh crore.
Also, details of cash deposits totalling more than Rs 10,700 crore in different accounts in the North-Eastern states have also been disseminated.
The official said Income-Tax Department and ED have been provided with the details of cash deposits of close to 30,000 crore in different accounts of various kinds of cooperative banks and Regional Rural Banks. The Income Tax Department has undertaken numerous actions, both intrusive and nonintrusive, based on the intelligence.
The Income Tax Department on Sunday warned black money holders that their undisclosed assets were not hidden from its gaze while advising them to avail of the last chance offered by the PMGKY disclosure window to come clean.
The department has also highlighted the salient features of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna (PMGKY), 2016 announced by the government post- demonetisation. "Your undisclosed accounts or cash deposits are not hidden from us. Helping the less fortunate can help you.
Invest your undisclosed income in the PMGKY and accelerate the socio- economic growth of the deprived, the Income Tax Department said in an advertisement. It also warned that nondeclaration of such undisclosed income will be liable to tax, surcharge and cess at the rate of 77.25 per cent along with penalty and prosecution.
At the same time department has assured total confidentiality under the scheme that is open till March 31. Up till now over Rs 300 crore has been declared from across the country till now as part of this ongoing black money window. Under the PMGKY, undisclosed income can be declared by paying 50% of it in taxes and surcharges.