CBDT has directed officials to start scrutinising information from tax evasion petitions, and take them up on a priority basis.
The Income Tax (I-T) department is ready to crack the whip on evaders, following the gradual lifting of the lockdown.
It will act on information received from whistle-blowers and informers for the first half of 2020 (H1CY20).
The move will help the department shore up revenue, clear backlogs, and resume probe in pending matters.
People in the know said the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), in a recent communication, directed officials to start scrutinising information from tax evasion petitions (TEPs), and take them up on a priority basis.
“Investigations in various tax evasion matters were kept on hold because of the outbreak.
"However, the department has resumed work on pending matters, which could lead to further inquiry in potential cases,” said a tax official.
A July 9 letter by the CBDT stated that the government had emphasised on minimising hassles for taxpayers, through the use of technology.
“It has come to the notice of the Board (CBDT) that many TEPs either remain unattended on account of the huge workload, or are picked up on a random basis, thus leading to harassment of taxpayers,” the letter said.
TEPs or complaints are typically filed by informers and whistle-blowers by way of e-mails and letters, comprising detailed information or allegations of evasion against individuals and companies.
It added that the Board had decided on handling valuable information from these complaints in a centralised manner, with the use of technology.
The CBDT has directed for all pending TEPs to be transferred to the investigation wing by August 31.
The same should be entered in the Income-tax Business Application module (ITBA).
This is an assessment module through which scrutiny notices are selected and disseminated.
Assessing officers verify notices issued through this module too.
People in the know said the accumulated pendency of such complaints had crossed 10,000.
“There is always an allegation that TEPs are vulnerable to misuse by both unscrupulous elements who file complaints to harass taxpayers, and corrupt officials.
"The latest directive streamlines the mechanism to deal with such complaints,” said the official cited above.