Further scrutiny by the taxman is on hold. Reeling under data overload on high-value transactions, the finance ministry has decided against additions to the list of items requiring annual information return filings for the time being.
We want the system to stabilise before we burden officials with more information, said a finance ministry official. In the budget, FM P Chidambaram had said government will amend items for which AIR has to be filed.
A committee set up by the revenue department recommended including items like the purchase of cars worth over Rs 5 lakh. But with the sale of B-segment cars on the rise, the department would have been flooded with more information. In fact, the revenue department is contemplating changes to the existing list itself, by seeking to drop information on low value purchase of mutual funds, deposits and credit card transactions.
The information overdose has also meant that the department is not looking to expand the coverage of PAN to other transactions.
AIR, which was to be submitted from last year, requires credit card companies to submit information on cardholders who spend over Rs 2 lakh in a year.
Similarly, mutual fund purchases of Rs 2 lakh have to be reported to the government, while the names of those who purchase property worth over Rs 30 lakh have to be submitted to the revenue department.
Those depositing over Rs 10 lakh cash in banks annually or investing over Rs 5 lakh in RBI bonds too face scrutiny.