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Rediff.com  » Business » Wherever you go, tax dept follows

Wherever you go, tax dept follows

Last updated on: August 20, 2013 13:30 IST

TaxEarlier this year, the Central Board of Direct Taxes had identified 1.2 million taxpayers who had a Permanent Account Number card but did not file their returns.

If you failed to file an income tax return for any assessment year in the past and later changed your mailing address without informing the tax department, the authorities might soon be knocking at your door.

With about a fourth of PAN cardholders who were sent letters for non-filing of returns apparently not getting the intimation because of a change in address, the department has started a search operation.

The focus is on identifying evaders in eight major cities -- Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune.

With every rupee becoming important for the government because of a possible fall in tax collection, it is relying on both formal and informal methods for reaching non-filers. Transaction trails of these people are being monitored.

In some cases, neighbours at the earlier address are being contacted.

“In many cases, letters were not served because people changed their address.

"We are making enquiries to take these cases to their logical end. We are expecting substantial success, as most people leave a trail while carrying out transactions,” said an official from the department.

Of 210,000 people who were issued letters in this regard over recent months, in six batches of 35,000 letters each, about 49,500 paid self-assessment tax of Rs 435 crore (RS 4.35 billion) and about 14,000 paid advance tax of Rs 400 crore (Rs 4 billion) by July 31.

As some filed returns for more than one assessment year, a total of 220,000 returns have been filed by 1,60,000 people. Of the remaining 50,000, some have not replied; many can’t be traced.

Earlier this year, the Central Board of Direct Taxes had identified 1.2 million taxpayers who had a Permanent Account Number card but did not file their returns.

Based on various parameters, it made seven categories within these 1.2 million non-filers and would gradually send letters to all.

The results were thrown up by a project that involved mining and analysing taxpayer data with the department.

Asked whether the tax department was concentrating on big fish, the official said those could be on the priority list but others were not spared, too.

Vrishti Beniwal in New Delhi
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