The Income Tax Department will issue 7 lakh letters seeking information about 14 lakh high-value transactions, which were carried out without quoting permanent account numbers (PAN). The transactions, which have been termed high risk, include cash deposits of Rs 10 lakh or more in a savings bank account and sale or purchase of immovable property at Rs 30 lakh or higher, a finance ministry release said.
“The department has details of about 90 lakh such transactions for the period 2009-10 to 2016-17. The Income Tax Department has, with the help of in-house computer techniques, grouped such non-PAN transactions and identified 7 lakh high-risk clusters having around 14 lakh non-PAN transactions which are being scrutinised … closely,” the ministry said. The tax department will ask the concerned persons to provide their PAN numbers against these transactions. For the purpose, a new e-filing portal has also been developed. The parties can respond to the letters through the website, the release said.
The parties can log-in to their e-filing website and can link their transaction with their PAN by quoting a Unique Transaction Sequence Number provided in the letter sent to them, the ministry said.
The responses received from such parties online will be examined by the tax department and further necessary action in those cases where no replies are received will be initiated by the authorities, it said.
Also, the department has asked people who receive such letters to “cooperate” and use the departmental helpline to ask questions, instead of making direct contact with tax officials. “Members of public are advised not to entertain any claims from unscrupulous elements who may offer their help in complying with such communication by falsely representing themselves to be the agents of Income Tax department in the matter,” it added. The high-value transactions have been reported to the tax department after the scrutinisation of Annual Information Returns.
Earlier this week, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) chairman Atulesh Jindal had spoken about looking into around 9 lakh pieces of information of high-value transactions and planning to send preliminary notices to the suspected cases. Jindal had said out of the total 9 lakh information pieces, 1 lakh cases are valued over Rs 1 crore and are under the department’s scanner. This step by the tax department is among a series of measures being taken by the government to fight the black money menace. In the Union Budget for 2016-17, the government had announced a four-month compliance window, allowing domestic black money holders to declare their unaccounted wealth, by paying a tax and penalty of 45 per cent and escape prosecution and harsher punishment.
The window for declaration of unaccounted wealth closes on September 30 while the deadline for payment of tax, surcharge and penalty was extended by the ministry earlier this month.
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