Modi Govt cracks down on IT defaulters – Can’t escape scrutiny with change of address

As per reports carried by the Economic Times, scrutiny measures are coming into force which will significantly heighten the chance of nabbing Income Tax defaulters.

As reported, the IT department has caught on to those supposedly clever individuals who tried to avoid Income Tax notices by fudging or shifting addresses. The IT rules have now been amended, which mean that the department would deliver IT notices at addresses which the assessees have given to banks, post offices, insurance companies etc if the notice isn’t delivered to the regular address. The notices will continue to be delivered via emails.

Earlier the notices were only delivered to addresses available in the PAN and current, previous year’s income tax returns.

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These rules were amended by the Modi government in a notification dated 20th December 2017 and the measures [PDF] have come into force via an insertion of these provisions in sub-rule (2) of rule 127 in the Income-tax Rules, 1962.

Apart from this, another measure which is designed to thwart money laundering via Swiss Banks will come to force form 1st January, 2018. From this day the Swiss government will start sharing information on accounts of Indians in Swiss banks.

Apart from it, an Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) between the two countries based on global standards would start from September, 2019. This exchange requires a strict adherence to confidentiality and data protection.

These aren’t the only measures which might be used by the government and corresponding agencies to ensure scrutiny.

We had reported how the government may use GST data to track Income Tax defaulters. We had almost predicted such a step about a year ago in an article titled, “If demonetisation was bad for black money, GST will be much worse”. 

We had also reported how the IT Department had issued detailed guidelines to tax officers, which are to be considered while ordering scrutiny assessments pertaining to filing of revised/belated returns by assessees, post-demonetisation period.

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