Two years after the demonetisation of high value currency and the subsequent efforts to unearth black money, tax authorities have said there are no estimates available with them on the amount of such illicit funds recovered.
“Different components like the Income Declaration Scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, demonetisation, the Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act, the Black Money and Imposition of Tax Act, etc form the lumpsum of efforts to tackle the menace of black money, and precise statistics regarding the above are not readily available with this office,” said the Directorate of Income Tax (DIT-Systems) in response to a query filed by BusinessLine under the Right to Information Act.
It defined black money to include the undeclared/unexplained/unaccounted for money/cash generated on which due taxes have not been paid.
‘Not covered by RTI’
To another query on the estimated black money that may be unearthed, the DIT (Systems) said that estimation and prediction do not fall under the purview of information, and hence, cannot be provided under the RTI Act.
However, as part of Operation Clean Money, which was launched immediately after the note ban, the Income-Tax Department has identified at least 3.04 lakh PANs and cases for notices to be sent for failure to file income-tax returns for the assessment year 2017-18.
It has also identified, in Phase-I and II of the scheme, 23,48,611 PANs with total accounts of 36,09,207 for online verification of cash deposits as the tax profiles were found to be inconsistent with the deposits made during the demonetisation period.
On probable timeline by when the proceedings will be completed, the DIT (Systems) said cases identified on the basis of assessment of responses received and risk involved therein have been pushed to the field formation for further action like ‘non-filers monitoring’, ‘scrutiny assessment’, and ‘search and surveys’. It added that proceedings will be initiated under relevant sections of the Income tax Act as per limitations specified.
The Centre had, in November 2016, demonetised high value notes of ₹1,000 and ₹500. Operation Clean Money was initiated by the I-T Department on January 31, 2017, with the launch of e-verification of large cash deposits made between November 9 and December 30, 2016.
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