To check tax evasion, the Central Board of Direct Taxes has tightened norms to deal with 'no-filers' of income tax returns and asked its officers to follow uniform procedure in handling such cases.
"The existing procedure for monitoring cases of 'non-filers of I-T Returns'. . .has been examined by the Board.
“It is felt that at present, cases of non-filers are not being uniformly monitored by the Assessing Officers due to lack of consistency in approach in dealing with such cases," the CBDT said in a communication to its top officers.
Therefore, in order to streamline the processing of such cases and to ensure consistency in monitoring 'Non-Filers Monitoring System' cases by the Assessing Officers, the CBDT has issued "standard operating procedure".
As per the guidelines, the assessing officer has to issue letter to the assessee within 15 days of the case being assigned in NMS, seeking information about the return of income flagged in the system.
In cases where the assessee has been identified and no return has been filed within 30 days of the time given in the letter, the assessing officer should consider initiation of proceedings as prescribed.
The CBDT (Income Tax Department) has identified about 12 lakh non-filers and has been sending letters to them to file returns and pay taxes.
As per the latest data, the tax department has issued letters in 245,000 cases.
Following issuance of letters to non-filers, CBDT earlier said, about 344,000 returns have been received from the target segment.
Such persons, it said, have also paid self assessment tax amounting to Rs 577 crore (Rs 5.77 billion) and advance tax of Rs 408 crore (Rs 4.08 billion).
The department has also made it clear that it will to go after recalcitrant taxpayers and the exercise will continue till all potential non-filers are covered.