Arun Jaitley : Tax collection net widens, 1.7 crore extra returns filed, Centre mops up Rs. 26,500 crore

Speaking in Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley said that the tax net has widened and there has been an increase of 19.3% in tax collection between April-January as a result of the campaign against black money and implementation of GST. Speaking on GST collections, Jaitley said that with mass anti-evasion measures being undertaken, the collections with respect to GST are expected to go up.

He said, with help of a non-filer monitoring system, the government has been able to identify those who indulge in high-value transactions but don’t pay enough taxes. This has forced filing of extra 1.7 crore returns and helped the Centre earn an additional tax collection of Rs. 26,500 crore till December last year.

He said that the tax department has been identifying non-filers by tracking in-house information and tallying it with high-value transaction data received from external agencies along with the tax deducted at source (TDS) and tax collected at source (TCS). He clarified that the tax net has been widened in terms of collecting data of various types of high-value transactions from banks and other financial institutions. He added that measures such as quoting PAN (Permanent Account Number) for transactions over Rs. 2 lakh, including on property, shares bonds, insurance and foreign travel, has yielded enormous data which has enabled the department to clamp down on tax evasion.

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He further added that rule-based algorithms are used to identify non-filers of taxes and monitoring them. Text messages, as well as emails, were sent to target groups to file returns and a compliance management cell has also been set up to monitor and track responses. The government has launched ‘Project Insight’, to track social media for tracing the black money. The system is proposed to be more stringent to target individuals and seek voluntary compliance.

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