As part of its policy of 'naming and shaming' tax defaulters, the Income Tax (I-T) department on Wednesday publishing a list of 31 such assessees, who collectively owe the exchequer Rs 1,500 crore. This is the second such list being released in a span of 18 days at a time when the government is tightening the noose on those involved in circulating black money in the economy.
Some of the big defaulters of income tax and corporate tax in the list, put in the public domain by the Central Board of Direct Taxes are: Hyderabad-based Totem Infrastructure (Rs 401.64 crore), Pune-based Patheja Bros Forging & Auto Parts Mfg Co (Rs 224.05 crore), Hyderabad-based Royal Fabrics (Rs 158.94 crore); and Mumbai-based Home Trade (Rs 72.18 crore).
Asking the defaulters mentioned in the list to "Pay tax arrears immediately", the I-T department also said the assessees are either "not traceable" or they have "inadequate assets for recovery".
Last month, the department had issued a list of 18 defaulters owing Rs 500 crore to the exchequer.
The initiative is aimed at publicising and putting these names in the public domain so that the common man can come forward to help the department in knowing the whereabouts of the defaulters, said a senior tax official.
According to a statement given by government in Parliament, the total corporate tax demand pending for collection up to the month of December 2014 was Rs 3,11,080 crore.
The government's efforts to improve revenue collection include surveys for identification of potential tax evaders, gathering information from various sources, regular scrutiny, audit, joining global efforts to combat cross-border tax evasion and tax fraud and to promote international tax compliance.
The government is working on making life stiffer for those having black money. So far as such assets abroad are concerned, the government has already tabled the Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets (Imposition of New Tax) Bill, 2015 -- popularly called the black money Bill -- in the Lok Sabha. The government is also working at the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Bill and might table it in the current Budget session itself.
The government is yet to take a call whether naming and shaming would also be done when the black money Bill is enacted into a law.