'12 lakh PAN holders haven't filed returns'

Business

Concerned about meeting the tax targets, the finance ministry has once again trained its guns on tax defaulters. While urging taxpayers to disclose their true income, the income tax departments has warned that it will be taking stern action against over 12 lakh PAN holders who have not filed their returns.

Of these, the Directorate of Intelligence and Criminal Investigation has sent letters to 35,170 PAN holders containing information on their financial transactions along with a response sheet on whether they have paid their taxes.

The income tax department is compiling a database on these evaders through a business intelligence project based on their PAN data and specific information available through the Annual Information Return (AIR), Central Information Branch (CIB) data, TDS/TCS returns as well as information in the Cash Transaction Reports (CTRs) of the Financial Intelligence Unit.

"This data analysis has identified target segment of 12,19,832 non-filers linked to more than 4.7 crore information records," the finance ministry said on Monday, warning of strict action against defaulters. The ministry has, in fact, set up a nodal cell and has also started online monitoring to track tax payments by such defaulters.

Net direct tax collection grew by 12 per cent between April and January this fiscal to over Rs 3.90 lakh crore, but is lower than the budgeted annual target of 15 per cent, reflecting the impact of slowdown. The net direct tax collection was Rs. 3.46 lakh crore in the same period of 2011-12 fiscal year.

Revenue secretary Sumit Bose had, in December last year before the third quarter advance tax payment deadline, warned that there was no advantage of suppressing the true income or avoiding payment of income tax as "sooner or later, the information available with the income tax department will lead the department to the doors of such persons."

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