Threshold norms for tax scrutiny of high-value transactions raised

If you have more than Rs 25 lakh in your savings account, have spent more than Rs 5 lakh through your credit card, or have mutual funds, debentures, bonds, shares of over Rs 10 lakh, be ready for a closer scrutiny by the income tax department.

The department is planning to raise threshold for high-value transactions including buying immovable property and investments in bonds. The tax department will now go after such transactions wherein the assessees fulfil these criteria but have not mentioned PAN (permanent account number) against such transactions or have not reported it or reported wrongly and given incomplete details.

"We have decided to put such transactions under close monitoring as such cases have been rising. The data available with us shows that there are a significant number of entities indulging in high-value transactions but not making proper disclosures. They are the target. The limit has been increased keeping in mind the rising standard of living," a finance ministry official told The Indian Express.

Now, anyone selling/buying immovable property of more than Rs 50 lakh will get a closer scrutiny from the tax department. Earlier taxpayers having cash deposits of Rs 10 lakh and above, credit card bills of Rs 2 lakh and above, mutual fund investment of over Rs 2 lakh, and immovable property worth Rs 30 lakh and above attracted greater attention of the department.

According to the annual information return (AIR) data available with the department, in 2011-12, 38.7 lakh tax payers made purchases of Rs 79.5 lakh crore using valid PAN cards while 14.1 lakh tax payers made purchases of Rs 14.1 lakh crore without valid PAN cards. The department will also populate such assessments with its PAN database and accordingly will send letters to taxpayers.

"People may give wrong PAN information, or they may hide the information. We will corroborate the data with those received from Central Economic Intelligence Bureau, Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), and other agencies too to ensure that tax evaders can't escape. Invalid PAN is also becoming a big issue," the official said.

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