Over 20,000 ITRs picked for detailed investigation

NEW DELHI: The income tax (I-T) department of India has picked 20,572 tax returns for “detailed scrutiny” suspecting discrepancies in incomes before and after demonetisation, officials said Monday.
Separately, they said, the department has identified one lakh “high risk” cases of alleged tax evasion for detailed investigation. According to the people in the know, 20,572 tax returns have been selected for detailed scrutiny after their profiles before and after demonetisation did not match.
A scrutiny procedure in the I-T department parlance denotes submission of a volume of records and testimonials, after which the taxman or the assessing officer makes sure that the return filed is correct and the filer has not evaded any tax. The I-T department initiated the first phase of the ‘Operation Clean Money’ on 31 January this year to check black money and stash funds in the wake of the withdrawal of Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes, the two highest value banknotes of the time, from circulation on 8 November last year.
According to official data, 17.73 lakh suspicious cases involving Rs3.68 trillion were identified by the taxman in 23.22 lakh bank accounts post demonetisation. Responses from 11.8 lakh people for 16.92 lakh bank accounts have been received by the department through online medium till now.
The I-T department had conducted 900 searches between 9 November 2016 and March this year, leading to seizures of assets worth Rs900 crore, including Rs636 crore in cash. The searched led to the disclosure of Rs7,961 crore undisclosed income, according to the official data. During the same period, the department conducted 8,239 survey operations leading to detection of Rs6,745 crore of black money, it said.