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Fresh look at high-value transactions

Monica Gupta in New Delhi | August 22, 2005 10:30 IST

The next year's Budget could bring changes in high-value transactions for which Annual Information Returns are to be filed.

At present, there are seven categories of transactions that are included in the AIR such as cash deposits of Rs 10 lakh (Rs 1 million) and above, credit card expenses of Rs 200,000 and above and purchase of property worth more than Rs 30 lakh (Rs 3 million). The first AIR is to be filed by August 31.

"The AIR is geared towards extracting information about the expenditure behaviour of tax payers. The high spenders, who evade tax, are likely to be more cautious about undertaking the transactions that are captured under the AIR. So certain categories may be included or deleted in the AIR," an income tax department official told Business Standard.

Officials also pointed out that as more and more data is obtained by the department from the banks, details of several kinds of transactions would automatically come to the department and would not require to be separately captured through the AIR.

The filing period for AIRs could also be changed from August 31 to the end of the financial year or to coincide with the time of the filing of income tax returns.

Once the AIR is received, the National Securities Depository Ltd, will carry out the validations on the data to check for more than one original AIR for the same year, existence of Permanent Account Number, existence of Tax Deduction Account Number and mandatory field checks. After this, the data would be sent to the AIR administrator.

The NSDL will also compile a report of missing or inaccurate information in the transactions and forward these to the Commissioner of Income tax (Central Information Board).

Asseessses of transactions which do not have PAN would be issued an alert letter by the department, officials said.

The AIR data would also be used to select cases for scrutiny based on parametres such as total value of transactions in a financial year being more than the total of returned taxable income during the last three years, unusual increase in investment from earlier years or value of one of more transactions being above a certain threshold limit.


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