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As 1 lakh tax notices get 1.3 lakh returns, a new strategy is born
May, 06th 2013

Last year, the taxman sent out 1 lakh tax notices to a list of 12 lakh persons identified as not filing their annual returns even though their expenditure patterns suggested the need to pay taxes. Based on data collected from a variety of sources — annual information returns or AIR in tax jargon — the taxman found, for instance, that 16 lakh persons made credit card payments of over R2 lakh in FY13 and 52.4 lakh persons spent more than R2 lakh buying mutual funds in that year. In response to these notices, however, the taxman has already got 1.25 lakh returns from people — some have added their spouses’ returns as well — and most have paid the taxes demanded.

The taxman’s new strategy is based on this recent success. The tax department now plans to send letters to all taxpayers every year in April-May, giving details of their PAN numbers, the taxes paid by them as well as various financial transactions captured by the AIR system during the year. A senior tax official said, “Though the letters sent to all the assesses and identified people outside the tax ambit will not be tax notices, the onus of acting on the information provided would certainly be on them.”

The department, however, will not stop at sending letters only to those who are already in the tax net; letters in the same format will also be sent to all those found to be making high-value transaction but not paying any tax

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