Serving an ultimatum to people making high-value purchases, Finance Minister P Chidambaram asked them to pay taxes and file returns before July 31, failing which Income Tax department would get at them.
Armed with Annual Information Returns, Chidambaram said the tax department will "pursue every single person whose names are thrown up by AIR... sooner or later they will be reached."
"My advice to all those who have made large transactions like buying property over Rs 30 lakhs, buying mutual funds over Rs 2 lakhs in a year or credit card payment exceeding Rs 2 lakhs yearly, please file tax returns before the last date of July 31," he told reporters after inaugurating the two-day annual conference of Income Tax Chief Commissioners and Director-General.
"These are not poor, lower middle class or salaried people. These are high net worth people. If not today in three, six or nine months, Income Tax people would reach the parties," he said.
He made it clear there would be no harassment by the tax department if they file returns. But if not, "let me say the Income Tax department will find ways to reach them."
Reeling out statistics, Chidambaram said 17,52,652 high value transactions have been reported under AIR. Of 6,60,000 separate parties reported, only 1,84,980 parties have quoted PAN numbers.
The remaining 4,75,019 parties are without PAN numbers, he said, adding that there may be some overlaps, but it is in the interest of these over six lakh parties to file their returns before the due date of July 31.