New Delhi :
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said the number of people under tax net has increased by 91 lakh post demonetisation and warned tax non-compliant persons to refrain from dealing in excessive cash and evaded money.
Launching a website on ‘Operation Clean Money’, a programme to bring illegal wealth on books, he said the fallout of the November 8 decision to demonetise higher denomination currency has increased digitisation of economy, brought more people under tax net and instilled “huge fear of dealing in cash”.
Stating that an additional 91 lakh people have filed the I-T returns post demonetisation, Jaitley said he expects further increase in tax returns going ahead.
“One message has gone out clearly as per the steps taken by CBDT post demonetisation—it is no longer safe to deal with excessive cash and tax evaded money ... It is absolutely clear that those who have been indulging in all these are no longer safe,” Jaitley said.
CBDT Chairman Sushil Chandra said a data analytics firm and the tax department make profile of people depositing cash post note ban and graded the various cases under Operation Clean Money in three categories—‘high risk’, ‘medium risk’ and ‘low and very low risk’.
There are one lakh persons under the high risk bracket wherein the department has initiated enforcement action through verification, search, survey and scrutiny.For 7.54 lakh persons in the the medium risk category, the tax department has started targeted campaign communicating with the assessee and explaining the findings in specific cases so that similarly placed persons can forsee the consequences.
For 5.95 lakh persons in low risk and 3.41 lakh persons in very low risk category, the department will monitor tax compliance in due course.Post demonetisation, there has been a hike in collection of personal income tax, the finance minister said, adding that the new portal will help honest tax payer.
Jaitley said with technology as a great enabler, detection of money trail has become easy and also it has become easy to see if there is an element of disproportionality in any transaction.
“Taxes are collected for public good ... I think this policy of assisting and simplifying the life for a compliant and honest taxpayer will continue, and the detection and many problems for the non-compliant. This message should be clear,” Jaitley said.
Under ‘Operation Clean Money’ launched by the income tax department on January 31, the department sent SMSes and e-mails to 17.92 lakh people who have made suspicious deposits of Rs 5 lakh and above between November 10 and December 30.Of these, 9.72 lakh person have responded on sources of the cash deposits.
The department has decided to close the verification in cases where there was justifiable explanation of source of cash.Chandra said there was 22 per cent growth in e-filed returns post demonetisation. Total returns filed up to March were 5.28 crore and out of that 98 per cent were e-filed returns.