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IT dept watching, undervaluing
June, 08th 2009

Its not just high-value property transactions that come under the ITs hawk eyes. The income tax department will scrutinize property deals of even Rs 5 lakh and above to tap tax dues. Thus, the trap is set for those who undervalue their properties to escape the IT net.

Sub-registrars have been asked to submit details of property transactions (sale and purchase) starting Rs 5 lakh. This move is aimed at examining sale deeds that show prices of properties as much lower than the guidance value and bring the difference amount under the IT net.

IT commissioner, CIB, has written to the inspector-general of registration and commissioner of stamps to furnish such information in a specified format. Earlier, only high-value transactions were being scanned by IT sleuths. However, over the years, it was found that revenue pilferage was large from small-value property transactions too.

We have been regularly sending details of property transactions of the value of Rs 5 lakh and above to the IT department following a letter by the commissioner of IT (CIB). This is to track down tax evasion and also tap resources at the microlevel. Property transaction details of 2007-08 have been sent across, says inspector-general of registration and commissioner of stamps, K R Niranjan.

From 2005 onwards, the IT department started roping in sub-registrars across the country to widen its tax net. The Central Board of Direct Taxes coming under the Union finance ministry had directed sub-registrars to furnish details of high-value transactions of Rs 30 lakh and above, and file the annual information returns with the department. This was to track down benami registrations and widen the tax base as till last year, until the realty boom went bust, investing undisclosed income in immovable property was seen as a safe option.

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