The Income Tax department has undertaken an intelligence project to spot those PAN holders who have not filed income tax returns and regarding whom information is available in Annual Information Return (AIR), Central Information Branch (CIB) data and through other means, as declared by the finance ministry.
This available data has identified about 12, 20,000 non-filers as per 4.7 crore information records. The department has used such information to identify such tax evasion cases for follow-up.
Tax evaders in the country:
Independent professionals like chartered accountants, private doctors, private lawyers, big shopkeepers and wholesale traders constitute the category of income tax assessees who are common tax evaders and who do not contribute much to the national revenue.
A good initiative by the government:
This is a good initiative taken by the government. The government is now cautious about tax evaders but the department has to check the issue on case-to-case basis. Presently the Government is planning to use statistics to increase its revenue.
Persons engaged in huge transaction and not filing returns may not necessarily be tax evaders. There can be a rich farmer having sold his land and received a big consideration. Again an old man might have received money from his son.
Making a huge transaction does not mean he is liable to pay tax. Tax is paid on income. If there is no income, there is no tax liability.
Tax evasion affecting the finance of the country:
The government had decided to monitor big spenders in order to increase revenue collections and decrease the tax deficit.
The income tax collections do not match with the big expenditures taking place on purchasing real estate, expensive jewellery, investments made in shares and mutual funds, high value credit card purchases by the people of India.
New way of catching tax evaders:
The government is now aiming to find a new way of tracking tax evaders. According to sources, the PAN card is an important link to the expenditures made by people and this is then collected together to glance the entire picture.
According to the figures available to the Income Tax department, during the assessment year 2012-13, only about 14.5 lakh assessees have declared a taxable income of more than Rs.10 lakh.
On the other hand, data received through the computer network of the department shows that about 34 lakh people have made cash deposits of Rs.10 lakh or more in their savings bank accounts during the year.
Again nearly 16 lakh people have made payments of Rs. 2 lakh or more against their credit cards and about 12 lakh people had purchased or sold out residential property having value of over Rs.30 lakh. This data will now be utilized by the department to catch the tax evaders.
Companies like Vodafone, Cadbury, Nokia, IBM, Shell, LG, Samsung, etc. have currently received notices from the Income Tax department.
Union Finance Minister, P.Chidambaram has instructed the revenue officials to use the information available with various departments to spot tax evaders and then try to recover the money.