Tax evasion of more than Rs 1.37 lk cr detected in last 3 yrs

07-04-2017
DH
The Revenue Department today said it has detected evasion of more than Rs 1.37 lakh crore in both direct and indirect taxes and identified over 1,000 shell companies which indulged in bogus transactions worth Rs 13,300 crore in the last three financial years. Warning tax evaders, it said the relentless crusade against black money will be further intensified in the coming days.

The department said more than 245benamitransactionshave been identified and provisional attachmentsofproperties worth Rs 55 crore have already been madein 124 cases as per the amended benami transactionsprohibitionlaw which came intoeffect from November,2016. A total of 23,064 searches were conducted by the Revenue Department, of which 17,525 were by the Income Tax Department and remaining by the customs, excise and service tax wings.

More than Rs 1.37 lakh croreoftax evasionhas been detectedduring the last three fiscals (2013-14 to 2015-16). This includes evasion worth Rs 69,434 crore in income tax,Rs 11,405 crore in customs, Rs 13,952 crore in Central Excise and Rs 42,727 crore in Service Tax, an official statement said. Also,criminal prosecutionswerelaunchedin 2,814 cases, which included 1,966 income tax cases.

A total of3,893 personswere placed underarrest. As many as 3,782 people were arrested for customs evasion, 47 for central excise and 64 for service tax. A crackdown againstshell companiesengaged in nefarious activities waseffectedthroughenforcement actions (searches, surveys, arrests, prosecutions) bythe lawenforcement agencies.

Duringthelast three financial years, Income Tax investigations led to detection of more than 1,155 shell companies/entities used as conduits by over 22,000 beneficiaries. The amount involved in non-genuine transactions of such beneficiaries was more than Rs 13,300 crore, it said.
TheMinistry of Corporate Affairshasissued more than a lakh notices for striking off names of defunct/non-compliant companies. The government has already set up a highpowered group forco-ordinating andmonitoringtheactionstaken by departmentsconcernedwith the objective of eliminating the conduits of black money generation and application.

"Concerted and co-ordinated actions ofLawEnforcement Agencies(LEAs) undertheDepartment of Revenuehave achieved phenomenalsuccessin fighting the menace of black money duringthelastthreeyears.Theperiodhaswitnessed unprecedentedenforcement actionsin direct and indirect taxes," the statement added.
The Enforcement Directorate intensified itsanti-money laundering actionsby registering519 casesand conducting 396 searches. Arrestswere made in 79 cases and properties worth Rs14,933croreattached, the statement added. The Revenue Department warned tax evaders that the relentless crusade against black money will get further intensified in the coming days.

This will make "tax evaders and money launderers realise that they have to pay a heavy cost for their deviant behaviour," the statement said. "Relevant laws and rules have beenstreamlined and tightened,plugging the loopholesand strengthening the penal provisions," the Revenue Department said.

Also, effective steps have beentaken totrack and curb cash transactions through various means like penalising cash transaction of more than Rs 2 lakh, limitingallowable cash expenseup to Rs 10,000 only, makingAadhaarmandatory for obtaining PANandfiling of income tax returns.

Also, the tax department has made it mandatory to quote PAN for cash depositsaboveRs 50,000, made compulsory PAN linking with bankaccounts and prohibited use of cashofRs 20,000 or more in transfer of immovable propertyby imposition of apenalty of an equal amount.

It has also made mandatoryreportingofcash deposits above Rs 2.5 lakh in savings accounts and Rs 12.5 lakh in current accounts during November 9 to December 30, 2016 --the 50-day window post demonetisation to deposit junked 500 and 1000 rupee notes. 

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