FinMin to send letters to 70K tax non-filers

P chidambaramP. Chidambaram. (Reuters)

Encouraged by the results of letters sent to non-filers of income tax returns earlier, the finance ministry is in the process of sending 70,000 more letters to high-priority assessees who have not filed their returns, asking them to disclose their true income and pay tax in the current financial year.

The letters, being sent in two batches, follow letters sent to 1,05,000 assessees earlier, seeking reasons for not filing the return and containing the summary of information of their financial transactions. The exercise has generated revenue of over Rs 600 crore from self assessment and advance tax from the targeted assessees, the finance ministry claims.

In fact, the finance ministry has also set up a compliance management cell to ensure the follow-up action in these cases and track return filing and tax payment of the assessees.

In February this year, the ministry undertook a business intelligence project to identify PAN holders who have not filed income tax return though specific information is available about them in annual information return, central information branch data and through TDS and TCS returns. Information received from the financial intelligence unit was also studied by the department for matching data.

"This data analysis has identified target segment of 12,19,832 non-filers linked to more than 4.7 crore information records. Rule based algorithms were used to identify high priority cases for follow-up and monitoring," the ministry said.

The government plans to collect over Rs 6.68 lakh crore from direct taxes in the current fiscal, up from Rs 5.65 lakh crore in the previous fiscal.

The government is cracking down on non-filers to promote voluntary compliance, deter non-compliance and impart confidence that all eligible persons pay appropriate tax.

The income tax department is also developing a comprehensive data warehouse and business intelligence project to provide a platform for effective utilisation of available and accessible information.

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