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Tax Dept to use identity-search software to prevent evasion
January, 28th 2008
The Income Tax Department is gearing up to use identity-search technology to manage the swelling data base of taxpayers, a move that will make tax evasion difficult and bring to book habitual defaulters.

In order to effectively manage the database of taxpayers, the Director General of Income Tax (Investigation) has invited bids from companies for developing a software, which can undertake identity search of taxpayers across the country.

The Department will use identity-search technologies to map the profile of tax payer, with all expenditure undertaken by them during the year. The exercise would also include matching of names, addresses, dates of birth and Permanent Account Numbers (PAN).

The software should be able to manage about four million records in PAN, around 1 million records from On Line Tax Accounting System and AST (assessment system) and about 4 million records of external data for each installation, the department said while inviting bids from companies.

The total data volume of taxpayers is expected to be between 10 and 20 million records in each installation, depending on the location, it said. The challenge the Department faces is to leverage this data successfully to build an integrated view of a taxpayer's data for carrying out its various statutory activities, it added.

The income tax department has already received clearance from the Finance Ministry last year to carry out comprehensive profiling of individual taxpayers for plugging revenue leakage and stamping out money laundering.

The comprehensive mapping of an individual includes matching data in annual information returns (AIRs) with records received from banks, credit card companies, mutual funds, stock market and property registrars.

The Department has already began the exercise to collect and analyse information about all financial transactions through banks and other financial institutions and checking expenditure of tax payers through credit and debit cards, property registration, hotel expenses and travel expenditure.

In addition, the Revenue Department has been collecting information about excise, customs, service and income tax paid by corporate for better tax assessment.

The proposed software will help the Income Tax Department to match these information against PAN numbers and prepare comprehensive dossiers of taxpayers.

The dossiers will be finally used by the income tax assessing officers to match the entries with the returns filed by taxpayers.

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