Income Tax department to intensify crackdown on tax defaulters post Sept 30
September, 27th 2016
The IT department will intensify raids to swoop down on the businessmen "hell-bent to hide their wealth".
The Income Tax department is smelling the dirty money. And it's nothing less than Rs 3,000 crore. At a time when the government has opened a one-time amnesty window to persuade people declare their unaccounted money to avoid prosecution, taxmen in just one week have detected black money worth Rs 3,000 crore in locations across the country.
INTENSIFY RAIDS POST TAX DECLARATION DATE
This was considered necessary after the amnesty offer drew lukewarm response from tax defaulters. I-T officials told Mail Today on the condition of anonymity that once the deadline for the tax declaration ends on September 30, the department will intensify raids to swoop down on the businessmen â€œhell-bent to hide their .
â€œIt is a common practice among all sorts of businessmen, including builders, showroom owners, jewellers etc, to file much less tax returns as compared to their high income. The regional units of the Income Tax department have gathered information on such violators and their business premises are being raided across the country,â€? said an official associated with the exercise.
MORE RAIDS TO DETECT BLACK MONEY
I-T Officials said that more such searches are in the pipeline to detect the black money. â€œSearches are being conducted on the basis of information. About 20-25 searches are being conducted on daily basis in many parts of the country and it will continue in the coming days,â€? said the official. Another senior tax official told Mail Today that separate targets have been given for different regions and about 1,000 searches will be conducted by the income tax departments by the end of September 30. According to sources, the IT departments are said to have been given a target of Rs 2,500 crore in cities like Mumbai and Delhi.
Sources said that property dealers, builders, restaurant owners and big doctors are on the radar as the I-T department feels that they are in large numbers and searches at such outlets could result in higher recovery of black money.
JEWELERS UNDER SCANNER
Jewelers, diamond traders and owners of plush showrooms are also under scanner, sources said. The department has already conducted such raids on about 70-80 jewellers and bullion traders across the country in the last 10 days.
Under Income Declaration Scheme (IDS) which opened on June 1, black money holders can come clean by declaring the assets by September 30 and paying tax and penalty of 45 per cent thereafter. Those who fail to take advantage of the scheme will have to face stringent actions, including imprisonment. On various occasions, government has warned the black money holders to be prepared for the action after September 30.
IMMUNITY FOR DECLARED ASSETS
The I-T department has made it clear that the scheme promises immunity by exempting declared assets from wealth tax, scrutiny/enquiry and prosecution under the Income Tax Act/Wealth Tax Act, and immunity from the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988.
The department has also investigated about those high-value transactions who have not filed income tax returns or have not submitted their response to the tax authorities about non-filing of returns. As part of the IDS exercise, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) recently clarified that those who declare their black money using the one-time compliance window cannot pay tax and penalty from their undisclosed income to bring down the liability and such acts will not get any immunity.
CASH TRANSACTIONS MORE THAN 3 LAKH BANNED
While Permanent Account Number (PAN) has been made mandatory for high-value transactions, sources said that the government is also considering banning all cash transactions of more than Rs 3 lakh.
The Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money has recommended this measure to the Centre.
It has also proposed that holding more than Rs 15 lakh in cash be made illegal for individuals and for companies.