Tax authorities are planning to look more actively into suspicious transaction reports (STRs) that provide information on dubious funds as they step up efforts against the menace of black money.
It has asked field formations to provide feedback on what kind of relevant information these reports should include to “to facilitate detection of new trends or modus operandi of tax evasion adopted in recent times”.
This is part of a larger exercise by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) for feedback from its field offices on how to make these reports more efficient and targeted. “STRs constitute a strategically important source of information for Income Tax department…The department has not been able to investigate all STRs promptly,” the CBDT has said in a recent missive to field offices.
Accordingly, it is planning to improve the management of such reports so that it is able to investigate them properly to look into sources of hawala funds.
“This would facilitate reduction in number of STRs and enable quicker and better investigation in remaining STR,” it said.
STRs are one of the sources of information with tax authorities on dubious transactions. Reporting agencies such as banks are mandated under law to provide information every month on such transactions that are worth over Rs 10 lakh to the Financial Intelligence Unit.
The FIU then forwards the monthly reports to the CBDT, Central Board of Excise and Customs, investigating agencies such as the Enforcement Directorate, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence as well as financial sector regulators.