The Income Tax department on Tuesday took to the strategy of 'naming and shaming' of some large tax defaulters as it published names of 18 entities who owe over Rs 500 crore (Rs 5 billion) tax to the exchequer.
"The step is aimed to publicise and put these names in public domain so that the common man can come forward to help the department in knowing the whereabouts of these.
“The step is to enhance public awareness against these entities who are acting against law. These names were earlier were put up the department's website earlier," a senior I-T officer said.
Newspapers on Tuesday carried the names of the tax defaulters and the data published was quoted to have been published by the Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (Administration) based in New Delhi.
Adopting an aggressive approach, government had for the first time gone public with names of 18 tax defaulters, including Goldsukh Trade and Somani Cements which, according to I-T, have turned wilful defaulters.
In a bid to force them these entities paying their dues, the Central Board of Direct Taxes had asked the I-T department to post on its website, few days back, the names of 18 defaulters, of whom 11 are based in Gujarat.
"Defaulters are advised to pay tax arrears immediately," said the notice.
"This is the first time the department has put in public domain a list of those wilful tax defaulters who have a tax liability of Rs 10 crore (Rs 100 million) and above," a senior tax official had said, adding that in many cases the assessees were not ‘traceable’.
"The department, in the public notice, has provided the Permanent Account Number and the last known address of these defaulters for the public to know," the official added.
The official said periodically the department has been proposing ‘naming and shaming’ of wilful defaulters and the step has now been taken on the last day of the current financial year on Tuesday.
The companies in the list include Somani Cement with tax arrears of Rs 27.47 crore (R 274.7 million), Blue Information Technology (Rs 75.11 crore or Rs 751.1 million), Appletech Solutions (Rs 27.07 crore or Rs 270.7 million), Jupiter Business (Rs 21.31 crore (Rs 213.1 million) and Hirak Biotech (Rs 18.54 crore or Rs 185.4 million).
The other Gujarat-based companies which figured in the defaulters list include Icon Bio Pharma & Healthcare Ltd (Rs 17.69 crore or Rs 176.9 million), Banyan & Berry Alloys (Rs 17.48 crore or Rs 174.8 million), Laxminarayan T Thakkar (Rs 12.49 crore or Rs 124.9 million), Virag Dyeing & Printing (Rs 18.57 crore or Rs 185.7 million), Poonam Industries (Rs 15.84 crore or Rs 158.4 million), Kunvar Ajay Food Pvt Ltd (Rs 15 crore or Rs 150 million).
Besides, names of Jaipur-based Goldsukh Trade India (Rs 75.47 crore or Rs 754.7 million), Kolkata-based Victor Credit & Construction (Rs 13. 81 crore or Rs 138.1 million), Mumbai-based Noble Merchandise (Rs 11.93 crore or Rs 119.3 million) are also there in the list.
The list also includes the legal heir of Pune-based G K Dharne involving a tax default of Rs 38.31 crore (Rs 383.1 million).