The income tax department detected undisclosed income to the tune of Rs 14,697 crore during search and seizure operations till February in the current financial year. In the comparable period till February 2016, the department had detected undisclosed income of Rs 9,521 crore.
Sources said the number of searches and seizures went up many fold across the country during the current financial year. While some cities such as Bengaluru, Kochi and Chennai saw massive jump in admission of undisclosed income, there was a drastic fall in the case of Mumbai, the sources said.
Kochi saw the highest rise in admission of undisclosed income at Rs 1,069 crore till February 2017, up from Rs 7.25 crore till February 2016. The number of searches doubled in Kochi to 42 till February 2017. The operations in Mumbai has concerned the tax department, as only Rs 20.76 crore of undisclosed income was admitted till February 2017, compared with Rs 1,726.62 crore till February 2016.
The highest total undisclosed income of Rs 4,590 crore was detected in Bengaluru till February 2017 through 72 searches, compared with Rs 1,854 crore till February 2016 through 25 searches. This was followed by Chennai where the admission of undisclosed income till February 2017 was Rs 3,327 crore.
The Income Tax Act empowers the tax officials to enter any premises of the assessee such as residences, shops, factories or offices for a search and seizure operation. The highest number of search and seizure operations were carried out in Chandigarh (125), followed by Kolkata (100), Chennai (99), Lucknow (87), Delhi (84) and Bhopal (83), among others, the sources said.
Admission of undisclosed income in other cities such as Hyderabad was Rs 1,172 crore, Kolkata (Rs 816 crore), Delhi (Rs 727 crore), Lucknow (Rs 629 crore), Pune (Rs 599 crore), Chandigarh (Rs 539 crore), Ahmedabad (Rs 423 crore), Bhopal (Rs 377 crore) and Jaipur (Rs 328 crore).
The total number of searches went up to 1,037 till February 2017, compared with 382 till February 2016. The amount of seizure of cash, jewellery and other valuables also increased to Rs 1,416 crore till February 2017, from Rs 667 crore till February 2016.
The search and surveys rose during the current fiscal, in which the government introduced the Income Disclosure Scheme.
After the announcement of demonetisation, the government also announced the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, which is open till March 31. Under this scheme, taxpayers can declare their unaccounted cash deposits in bank after payment of roughly 50 per cent tax and locking in 25 per cent of the income in interest-free deposits for four years.
The number of surveys through which an income tax authority is empowered to enter any place at which a business or a profession is carried out also went up during the year. Information collected through surveys might lead to discovery of new assessees and stop-filers and also helps in detecting tax violations like under-reporting of income in returns of filers, failure to deduct tax at source and failure to furnish returns and statements by taxpayers.