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Now, sales-tax sleuths too can track your high-value transactions
July, 23rd 2014

Govt introduces amendments to Central Excise Act; govt will collect information for all transactions above Rs 50,000 in a year

The finance ministry is sharpening its tools to chase tax evasion to augment revenues and bridge the fiscal deficit.

After tasting success of information sharing with the income-tax department by various agencies for high-value transactions, the government has proposed similar exchange of information for excise and service tax departments.

The union budget has proposed to include new sections in indirect tax regulations while at the same time broadening the span of sources of information collection for I-T.

Though rules have not been announced for the amendments proposed, reading of the budget documents says that government will collect information for all transactions above Rs 50,000 in a year.

Among the indirect tax proposals, section 15A has been inserted in the Central Excise Act to empower the government to prescribe an authority or agency to which the information return shall be filed by the specified persons such as I-T authorities, state electricity boards, postmaster general, VAT or sales tax authorities and registrar of companies.

Information can be collected for the purposes such as to identify tax evaders or recover confirmed dues. It has also proposed to insert a new section 15B which provides for imposition of penalty if the information return is not submitted.

Tax evasion is a big issue for the government as it encourages black money and grey market. As per I-T report submitted to special investigation team, investigating the black money menace, a total of Rs 101,181crore of undisclosed income was detected during search and survey operations in 2013-14. This was more than three times the Rs 29,628 crore disclosed the previous year.

Similarly, Director General of Central Excise intelligence unearthed service tax evasion of Rs 8,000 crore during 2013-14. In addition, 379 cases of central excise duty evasion were registered involving
tax evasion of Rs 1,879 crore.

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