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I-T dept to scan realty deals for evasion
June, 30th 2008

Have you bought or sold a house or a plot for more than Rs 30 lakh? Then expect a knock from tax hounds. Real estate sector is high on the radar of the income-tax department, which is going to keep a close watch on buyers or sellers of property.

Realty deals whose value is more than eight times the gross income of the buyer could come under the scanner of the I-T department, going by the latest scrutiny norms circulated to officials. So, if your gross income is Rs 10 lakh per annum and you have bought a house for more than Rs 80 lakh, you could get a call from the department.

Gross income, for this purpose, shall be total income plus exempted income minus the total tax paid. This norm is being adopted to ensure that there is no evasion and people who enter into such transactions pay taxes honestly.

Cash deposit of Rs 10 lakh in your savings account could also bring you on the scrutiny radar. Individual assesses now have to report transactions which get captured in Annual Information Return (AIRs). Sale or purchase of house above Rs 30 lakh is reported, under AIR, by registrars to the department.

Scrutiny on these counts would be generated though Computer Assisted Scrutiny System (CASS) and not through manual intervention.

According to the criterion that were discussed at the recent annual conference of the chief commissioners and directors general of income-tax, capital gains of more than Rs 25 lakh could also attract scrutiny by the department in the current financial year.

Similarly, loss from house property of more than Rs 2.5 lakh would also invite the I-T departments scanner, sources told ET. The real estate sector, which is known to attract large quantum of black money, continues to draw the attention of tax department.

Real estate agents and builders having a turnover of more than Rs 5 crore could attract scrutiny. Professionals like doctors, architects whose gross receipts exceed Rs 40 lakh and those who report profit of less than 30% of the gross receipt, can also face scrutiny.

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