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Properties worth Rs 14,000 crore under scanner of income tax department

Properties worth Rs 14,000 crore under scanner of income tax department
More than Rs 14,000 crore worth of properties have come under the scanner of the income tax department that launched a major offensive against tax evaders post demonetisation. On Thursday, the department released a detailed statement on this exercise.

“The exercise has also unearthed a large number of persons and clusters having suspect transactions. These include about 14,000 properties of more than Rs 1 crore each where persons have not even filed income-tax returns. The investiga ..

In the statement detailing the impact of demonetisation of oldRs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes on black money, it said ‘Operation Clean Money’ was launched on January 31 to analyse data of people who deposited large sums of cash post the note-ban with no previous matching returns of income. As a result, an amount of Rs 15,496 crore was admitted as undisclosed income and surveys resulted in the seizure of Rs 13,920 crore, it said.

Government departments on Thursday put up a strong defence of demonetisation after the central bank’s annual report released the previous day showed almost all of the Rs 15.44 lakh crore worth of junked currency notes returned to the banking system. The government said the deposits had ended anonymity and helped fix liabilities for money.

In the first phase of Operation Clean Money, data analytics was used to identify 18 lakh suspect cases where cash transactions did not appear to be in line with the tax profile of depositors, the tax department said.

Online verification was done in a record time of four weeks, it said. Using data analytics, then 13.33 lakh accounts of some 9.72 lakh people with unusual cash deposits of around Rs 2.89 lakh crore were identified and response sought.

The Operation Clean Money has since moved into the next phase that “includes enforcement actions in high-risk cases, taxpayer engagement through a dedicated website in medium-risk cases and close monitoring in low-risk cases”, it said.

The high-, medium- and low-risk cases have been identified using advanced data analytics, including through integration of data sources, relationship clustering and fund tracking.

After the note-ban, there has been a 158% increase in the number of searches, to 1,152 groups from 447, and more than doubling of seizures to Rs 1,469 crore fromRs 712 crore. There has also been a 38% increase in admission of undisclosed income (at Rs 15,496 crore), it said.

The Economic Times, New Delhi, 01st September 201

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