IT department further tightens the noose by issuing notices to 2 lakh people for deposits during demonetisation

About two lakh people have been issued an Income Tax notice by the government for depositing more than Rs 20 lakhs in the now defunct Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, in the aftermath of demonetisation. The notices have been specifically issued to those persons who have either failed to file IT returns or haven’t responded to the IT department’s request for information in this regard.

As per a senior IT officer, these depositors in question were given a lot of time to come clean in the IT returns, but their failing to do resulted in them getting a notice which asks them to furnish details my filing the IT returns in question.

The IT department as per the report, has identified chasing tax payers as a key priority for the year, and the Central Board of Direct Taxes is carrying out a recovery action to ensure that evaders do not escape the brunt of law.

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The total amount of suspected deposits is pegged at about Rs 2.9 lakh crores, which is less than 20% of the total amount deposited during demonetisation. In total, about 5 lakh people haven’t filed their Income Tax returns, but the department is currently going after the big fish.

The latest development comes after the other slew of measures which the Income Tax department has undertaken post demonetisation.

Earlier this year, the Department had launched Operation Clean Money, involving e-verification of large cash deposits made during 9th Nov to 30th Dec 2016. In only the “first batch”, about 18 lakh persons had been identified in whose case, cash transactions don’t appear to be in line with the tax payer’s profile.

Later 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. Scrutiny assessments refer to the cases which are picked by the IT Department for detailed investigation, and verification with supporting documents.

Further the Income Tax Department has slapped notices on 1.16 lakh individuals and firms who made cash deposits of more than Rs 25 lakh in bank accounts post note ban but failed to file returns by the due date.

Even though there have been a sizeable number of persons who have failed to file the IT returns, overall the total number of people paying Income Tax has increased by 22% in the 2016-17 Financial year. This jump was also considered significant as a mere 3% of the Indian population is currently believed to be paying the Income Tax.

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