Income tax department to zero in on tax evaders under faceless assessment scheme – The Economic Times

Clipped from: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/income-tax-department-to-zero-in-on-tax-evaders-under-faceless-assessment-scheme/articleshow/79943835.cms

Synopsis–Under the faceless assessment scheme, transactions with the ITRs of taxpayers/entities and selects tax returns for scrutiny that show wide discrepancies in financial transactions viz-a-viz the income shown in the tax returns.

New Delhi: The income tax department has launched a nationwide drive to spot persons that do not respond to communication from the department under faceless assessment so as to catch tax evaders to collect due taxes and penalties from them, finance ministry sources said.

The department has identified 6,000 cases of tax evaders trying the route of no-response to avoid assessment and payment of taxes.

“Unscrupulous tax evaders have probably mistaken the taxpayer facilitating approach of income tax department to mean laxity in follow up action but the department is quite watchful with non-intrusive means of data analytics and AI & ML,” one of the sources said referring to artificial intelligence and machine learning.

“It won’t be possible for a dishonest tax evader and fraudsters to escape from Business Intelligence and Fraud Analytics tool and tech-driven tax system,” the source added.

Another source cited examples of a few cases where mismatch of income, tax returns and cash deposits in bank accounts had led to surveys and seizure of undisclosed income running into crores, in many cases.

“Faceless Assessment Scheme along with improved Form 26AS and pre-filled ITRs is robustly tuned to make a distinction between honest taxpayers and deliberate tax evaders/ fraudsters,” the second source said.

The income tax department would not hesitate to take required coercive actions against non-responding persons and tax evaders who have misused the trust reposed on them.

Under the faceless assessment scheme, transactions with the ITRs of taxpayers/entities and selects tax returns for scrutiny that show wide discrepancies in financial transactions viz-a-viz the income shown in the tax returns. These discrepancies are unearthed by application of risk analysis developed through AI as well as from the experiential and domain knowledge of the tax officials.

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