Plan is to prioritise and act first on accounts with huge deposits: CBDT

New Delhi, Dec 30 (IANS) As the time-frame to deposit the cash in demonetised Rs 500 and 1,000 notes comes to an end, the Income Tax Department on Friday said that it will have to prioritise and plan the action and is likely to verify accounts with huge deposits first, considering the constraints of a limited manpower compared to the data received being very large.

“It is a huge operation, launched by our investigation wing. All the information would be very large so very relevant information will have to be culled out and we’ll have to prioritise,” a top official in the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) told IANS here on Friday.

The Income Tax Department has also identified the local clusters and bank branches where the inflow of Jan Dhan deposits have been more than normal, in order to investigate money deposits in Jan Dhan accounts which belonged to somebody else, but the scrutiny into these may take longer.

“That depends on the total workload,” the official said on the scrutiny of such Jan Dhan accounts adding, “if there are large number of other accounts with huge deposits, then maybe we will go into those first”.

The CBDT official said that to put the limited manpower to best use, the action will have to be prioritised.

“Whatever manpower we have, we’ll have to use it in the best possible way. There has to be some prioritising of action and see the way in which we can have maximum impact. The action will be planned out properly,” he said.

The official said that the exercise to verify the deposits made against the tax returns of the persons has been on for quite some time now and the accounts with irregularities will soon be served notices.

“That process (verification) is on for quite some time. It’s going on. Our directorate of investigation and intelligence does that. They are on the job. Notices may start soon to such accounts,” the official told IANS.

On the high from demonetisation, the Income Tax Department is expecting increased revenues this fiscal, to which the government’s recently launched Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana is also likely to add.

“Response from the ongoing scheme – Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana – may be coming. Let’s see how it plays out. Indications are that there will be increase in revenue collections, though I can’t say how much,” the official said.

The Taxation and Investment Regime for Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, 2016 commenced on December 17, 2016 and is open for declarations up to March 31, 2017.

As per the scheme, the person will have to pay 30 per cent tax on income, 33 per cent surcharge on tax, 10 per cent penalty on income, totalling to nearly 50 per cent of the income to be declared under the scheme. In addition, an amount equal to 25 per cent of the declaration will have to be deposited in the scheme for four years without any interest.

The total amount of high denomination currency circulating in the system on November 8 was Rs 15.44 lakh crore or $225 billion (Rs 8.58 lakh crore in Rs 500 notes and Rs 6.86 lakh crore in Rs 1,000).

According to the Reserve Bank of India, old currency notes amounting to Rs 12.44 lakh crore was deposited with the banks till December 10.

(Meghna Mittal can be reached at meghna.m@ians.in)

–IANS

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