Tax evaders to face strict action: CBDT Chairman Sushil Chandra

The income tax department awaits the conclusion of its investigations on financial dealings of around 100,000 individuals who are suspected of tax evasion and persuade many others caught in the act to start filing tax returns, as told by Sushil Chandra, chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), in an interview with Mint.

Chandra further added that the department won’t spare those who make high value purchases and investments but do not file returns. The tax authority is on a massive data-crunching exercise that would make tax evasion difficult and bring the evadors into limelight. The drive also covers those who keep unaccounted funds abroad.

This exercise is being done as a part “Operation Clean Money”, which basically deals with analyzing cash deposits made post demonetisation, after which the department identified ¬†about 754,000 medium-risk, 595,000 low-risk and 341,000 very low-risk assessees in terms of the tax amounts they may have cheated on.

While the individuals in the high risk category will be given priority. The people who fall under the low risk category will get e-mails urging them to file returns.

Besides bringing unaccounted wealth under the tax net, the government will seek to boost revenue to finance a 6.5% jump in its spending to Rs21 trillion in the current financial year from that of last year.

A  three-year low of 5.7% economic growth rate that ended June and declining revenue from the debt-ridden telecom sector, which is battling strong competition, make it imperative for the government to optimize tax revenue growth.

In the first quarter, there was a rise, albeit not very significant, in gross personal income tax receipts and gross corporate tax receipts in the period from a year ago, on which the CBDT chairman said that it was not unusual.

In the annual budget for 2017-18, finance minister Arun Jaitley set a full-year growth target of 15.7% for corporate and personal income tax receipts to Rs9.8 trillion.

Sources- The Mint

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