Big deals bring under Income Tax scan by Citibank fraud
December, 31st 2010
Shaken by the Citibank episode in Gurgaon, the Central Board of Direct Taxes , the apex body in the finance ministry that oversees the Income Tax department, has asked all its range commissioners across the country to use a specially developed tool called Individual Transaction Statement to track large transactions of high networth individuals (HNIs).
This move comes along with other measures, initiated by the finance ministry, to track black money. The finance ministry is setting up a high-level multi-disciplinary panel to study the extent of black money at home and abroad, and finance minister Pranab Mukherjee has also approved another panel, which will suggest counter measures against tax havens.
Officials can view assets of HNIs via ITS
The Individual Transaction Statement (ITS) enables field officials to view HNIs current assets and gives them access to information such as recent investment in mutual funds, shares and other spending. The details are compiled by using annual information reports from banks and other financial institutions. As part of ITS, details of at least 550 HNIs have been prepared and circulated to field officials.
Considered as an effective tool to keep track of high value transactions of HNIs, the ITS empowers officers with information regarding the movable and immovable assets of assesses. The tool is being used for recovery of tax arrears from HNIs.
In a recent pre-Budget review meeting with senior CBDT officials the FM asked the tax officials to deal on a priority with the issue of black money and illicit assets parked abroad. FM told officials to plan strategies to broaden and deepen the tax base. He also expressed unhappiness at the rising gap between the rich and the poor.