The Income Tax department has issued notices to a large number of assesses to deposit an additional tax to the tune of more than Rs 45,000 crore during the current financial year based on the scrutiny of tax returns filed for the assessment year 2004-05.
"The department has raised demand for additional Rs 45,229 crore tax by December 31, 2006 from the assesses after the scrutiny of their returns and collecting other information," told sources in the Income Tax Department.
Out of this, Rs 4,754 crore has already been deposited by the tax payers, the sources said.
Most of the notices have been issued to corporates and High Net Worth Individuals (HNIs). The assesses have been given 35 days to deposit tax, otherwise they would be issued show-cause notices, followed by penal action such as attachment of bank accounts, attachment and sale of movable property to recover the tax, the sources said.
The department was confident of collecting Rs 10,000-12,000 crore in taxes by March 31 this year from these assesses, and the remaining amount could be later collected in instalments, they said.
However, they added some tax payers might challenge the department notices in tax tribunals and in courts as well.
In 2005-06, the Income Tax department recovered around Rs 24,000 crore after issuing notices for additional tax amounting to Rs 56,000 crore after the scrutiny of returns filed for 2003-04 assessment year, sources said.
A senior official of the Income Tax department said the time period for scrutiny of I-T returns has been advanced from March 31 to December 31 this year, leading to a marginal fall in demand for additional tax.
However, after the processing of all returns filed for 2004-05, the department may send more notices to the assesses for additional tax, he said.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes has assured the Finance Ministry it will cross the target of Rs 2,10,000 crore tax collections this fiscal by at least Rs 10,000 crore.