Millennium Post

`1.37 lakh crore tax evasion detected in 3 years

The Revenue Department on Friday said it has detected evasion of more than Rs 1.37 lakh crore in both direct and indirect taxes and identified over 1,000 shell companies which indulged in bogus transactions worth Rs 13,300 crore in the last three financial years.

Warning tax evaders, it said the relentless crusade against black money will be further intensified in the coming days.

The department said more than 245 benami transactions have been identified and provisional attachments of properties worth Rs 55 crore have already been made in 124 cases as per the amended benami transactions prohibition law which came into effect from November, 2016.

A total of 23,064 searches were conducted by the Revenue Department, of which 17,525 were by the Income Tax Department and remaining by the customs, excise and service tax wings.

More than Rs 1.37 lakh crore of tax evasion has been detected during the last three fiscals (2013-14 to 2015-16).

This includes evasion worth Rs 69,434 crore in income tax, Rs 11,405 crore in customs, Rs 13,952 crore in Central Excise and Rs 42,727 crore in Service Tax, an official statement said.

Also, criminal prosecutions were launched in 2,814 cases, which included 1,966 income tax cases.

A total of 3,893 persons were placed under arrest.

As many as 3,782 people were arrested for customs evasion, 47 for central excise and 64 for service tax.

A crackdown against shell companies engaged in nefarious activities was effected through enforcement actions (searches, surveys, arrests, prosecutions) by the law enforcement agencies.

During the last three financial years, Income Tax investigations led to detection of more than 1,155 shell companies/entities used as conduits by over 22,000 beneficiaries.

The amount involved in non-genuine transactions of such beneficiaries was more than Rs 13,300 crore, it said.

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has issued more than a lakh notices for striking off names of defunct/non-compliant companies.

The government has already set up a high powered group for co-ordinating and monitoring the actions taken by departments concerned with the objective of eliminating the conduits of black money generation and application.

"Concerted and co-ordinated actions of Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) under the Department of Revenue have achieved phenomenal success in fighting the menace of black money during the last three years. The period has witnessed unprecedented enforcement actions in direct and indirect taxes," the statement added.

Banks get time till June 30 to obtain PAN from a/c holders

The tax department has given banks three more months till June 30 to obtain permanent account number (PAN) or Form-60 from all account holders as it looks to tighten the noose around evaders.

Though the deadline for getting the PAN or Form 60 (if PAN is not available) by banks ended on February 28, the tax department on April 5 notified the extension of the time till June 30.

In the notification, the Income Tax Department said that in Income-Tax Rules 114B, in the fourth proviso, "for the figures, letters and words '28th day of February' the figures, letters and words '30th day of June' shall be substituted."

Rule 114B lists various transactions for which quoting PAN is mandatory.

The tax department had in January asked banks, post offices and cooperative banks to document PAN or declaration of Form 60 received from account holders and maintain all records for transactions under Rule 114B of I-T Act.

It had said that persons who have not quoted PAN, or did not furnish Form 60 at the time of opening account, will have to provide the same by February 28. Form 60 is a declaration form filed by an individual without PAN.

Following the demonetisation move effective November 9, the tax department had asked banks and post offices to report to it all deposits above Rs 2.5 lakh in savings accounts and more than Rs 12.50 lakh in current accounts made between November 10 and December 30, 2016.

Also, cash deposits exceeding Rs 50,000 in a single day had to be reported. With an estimated Rs 15 lakh crore in junked currency notes coming back into the banking system post demonetisation, the tax department has started analysing the bank deposit trends.

Panel favours FY from Jan 1; govt examining proposal

The government is examining the report of a committee which has recommended change in the financial year starting April 1, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Friday.

Replying to questions in the Lok Sabha, he said disclosing the recommendations of the committee and the prima facie view of the government on it at this stage would be unfair as it may amount to pre-judging the issue.

The committee is learnt to have recommended advancing the financial year and equating it with the calendar year from January 1.

Responding to supplementaries during Question Hour, he said since the move has various implications for the Centre, the states and various local bodies, it is necessary to have have wider consultations before arriving at a conclusion.
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