Tightening the noose, the income tax department is going to issue statutory notices to all those who have failed to respond to its SMS and e-mail queries seeking explanation on bank deposits made after demonetisation.
Notice under Section 133(6) of the Income Tax Act will be issued to any 'person under verification' who has failed to file online response in a timely manner in spite of the reminder, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said in an instruction on Friday.
CBDT, however, said the notice can be issued only after taking permission of no less an officer than a commissioner or directorate of income tax. The tax department generated hundreds of queries on suspicious deposits made after November 8 decision to junk old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes.
Under Operation of Clean Money, 18 lakh SMS and e-mails have been issued to people who have made suspicious deposits of over Rs 5 lakh during the 50-day demonetisation period ended December 30.
Over 9 lakh responses have come in the I-T department's e-filing portal and the department will issue the notices to the rest.
The suspicious deposits were referred to as 'person under verification' who were asked to file the explanation about the source of the cash. Valid explanations were considered 'Accepted' and further verification closed.
"In case no response is furnished within the specified timeframe, the assessing officer may form a view that 'person under verification' has no plausible explanation to offer regarding the cash deposits in his/her bank account(s) and consequently, the case may be escalated as 'Not-Acceptable' for further action in accordance with the procedure prescribed," it said.
The notice under Section 133(6) gives the department wide powers of investigation, including the one to seek information about an assessee even from outsiders that include banks.