Dec 112012

On the back of Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal’s repeated attacks, the government has assured Parliament that it has been doing all it can to retrieve black money stashed away in foreign bank accounts abroad. However, a study by Headlines Today of figures released by the Ministry of Finance shows a shocking drop in raids and seizures, one of the primary tools in the government’s armoury to unearth black money.
Though Union Finance Minister P.Chidambaram’s department has given a clear warning to tax evaders asking assesses to declare their true income or face the wrath, the actions of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and the Income Tax Department seem to be just a formality. It again proves Kejriwal’s allegations true.
Headlines Today’s analysis of figures revealed a steep drop in search and seizure operations. While the raids showed a continuous increase from 2009 to March 2012, the numbers suddenly tapered off in the following months till September.
In Mumbai, which accounts for as much 42 per cent of tax collections, the statistics has gone down from 736 in 2010-11 to 28 cases till September 2012.
Sources told Headlines Today that one of the reasons could be that with Gujarat polls round the corner, I-T raids have become selective and fewer allowing rapid movement of cash by political parties.
Meanwhile, the taxmen have rebooted their database for better targeting of the salaried tax dodger. Even the revenue secretary has said that figures for the assessment year 2012-13 suggested far too many people were slipping through the tax net.
The government has been keeping a hawk’s eye on the suspected tax evaders’ credit card transactions and real estate purchases.
There were only 15 lakh tax assesses, including professionals like doctors, lawyers and chartered accountants, and companies who have declared a taxable income of over Rs 10 lakh in the current financial year.