The government has detected over Rs 1 lakh crore of undisclosed income in the last financial year, a figure more than double as compared to the search and seizure action undertaken by the Income Tax department during 2012-13 to check black money.
According to official data, the I-T department detected undisclosed income worth Rs 10,791.63 crore (Rs 107.91 billion) in search operations during the just concluded 2013-14 fiscal while it also found unreported income of Rs 90,390.71 crore (Rs 903.90 billion) in survey operations conducted during the same period across the country.
The action was conducted by the I-T department against individuals, business firms, corporates and other financial institutions to check tax evasion.
The total figures recorded at the end of both these operations, searches (where I-T sleuths raid both business and residential premises of an entity) and surveys (where department officials raid only business premises) stands at Rs 1,01,181 crore (Rs 1.01 trillion).
The corresponding cumulative figures for the 2012-13 fiscal (under both the heads) was Rs 29,628 crore (Rs 296.28 billion), a figure less than half of the current recorded amount.
During the last fiscal (2013-14), the I-T also seized assets like jewellery, fixed deposits and cash worth Rs 807.84 crore as it executed 4,503 warrants and launched searches on 569 entities during this period.
The number of search warrants executed by the investigations wing of the I-T department also saw an upward trend in the last fiscal as during 2012-13 these warrants stood at 3,889.
With regard to survey operations (done by the I-T department under section 133 of the Income Tax Act), a total of 5,327 surveys were conducted during the last fiscal as compared to 4,630 such operations during 2012-13.
Interestingly, while compiling the final figures of survey operations during 2013-14, out of the total undisclosed income of Rs 90,390.71 crore (Rs 903.90 billion), an amount of Rs 71,195 crore (Rs 711.95 billion) was affected from only one corporate group which is involved in the energy sector and is litigating the I-T demand at present.
"The numbers of both search and survey operations have increased in the recently concluded fiscal as compared to the last time period and this is an indicator that the I-T department is vigilant to most of the instances of tax evasion in the country," a senior I-T officer said.
Search and survey operations done by the I-T department are an essential tool to check tax evasion and collect revenue for the exchequer, the official said.
The data has recently been shared with the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money as part of the presentation made by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to the high-profile panel setup to unearth and address cases of illegal wealth in the country and abroad.