MASSIVE INCREMENT IN PROSECUTION ON TAX EVADERS- ON BLACK MONEY & MONEY LAUNDERING BY GOVT
The Income Tax Department has accorded the highest priority to tackle the menace of black money. With this objective in mind, the Department has initiated criminal prosecution proceedings in a large number of cases of tax offenders and evaders.
Prosecutions have been initiated for various offences including wilful attempt to evade tax or payment of any tax; wilful failure in filing returns of income; false statement in verification and failure to deposit the tax deducted/collected at source or inordinate delay in doing so, among other defaults.
During FY 2017-18(upto the end of November, 2017), the Department filed Prosecution complaints about various offences in 2225 cases compared to 784 for the corresponding period in the immediately preceding year, marking an increase of 184%.
The number of complaints compounded by the Department during the current FY (up to the end of November 2017) stands at 1052 as against 575 in the corresponding period of the immediately preceding year, registering a rise of 83%.
Compounding of offences is done when the defaulter admits to its offence and pays the compounding fee as per stipulated conditions.
Due to the decisive and focused action taken by the Department against tax evaders, the number of defaulters convicted by the courts has also registered a sharp increase during the current fiscal.
48 persons were convicted for various offences during the current year(upto the end of November, 2017) as compared to 13 convictions for the corresponding period in the immediately preceding year, marking an increase of 269%.
A FEW ILLUSTRATIVE CASES ARE HIGHLIGHTED.
- A Dehradun Court convicted one defaulter for holding an undisclosed foreign bank account and sentenced him to two years of imprisonment for a willful attempt to evade tax and to two years for false statement in verification along with a monetary penalty for each default respectively.
- The Court of CJM, Jalandhar convicted a cloth trader with 2 years rigorous imprisonment for trying to cheat the Department by fabricating affidavits and gift deeds, in connivance with his advocate and witness, with the motive of evading tax.
- The Court, while awarding the sentence to the trader, also simultaneously awarded one year’s imprisonment to the advocate notarizing the forged affidavit and also to the witness for aiding and abetting the serious offence,
- In Bengaluru, the MD of a company engaged in infrastructure projects was found guilty of non-deposit of TDS of over Rs. 60 lakh(within the prescribed time), and was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of three months along with the imposition of fine.
- Similarly, a Mohali resident was held guilty of non-deposit of TDS within prescribed time and sentenced to one year jail along with a fine.
- In another case of Hyderabad, the Director of an infrastructure company was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of six months and a fine for a willful attempt to evade tax.
- She was simultaneously sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for six months along with a fine for false statements in verification.
- The Economic Offences Court at Ernakulam sentenced an individual to rigorous imprisonment of three months for selling property to evade payment of taxes of about Rs. 76 lakh despite issuance of the tax recovery certificate by the Tax Recovery Officer.
- In yet another case reported from Agra, the Special CJM convicted one defaulter with imprisonment of one year & six months for a willful attempt to evade tax and for false statements in verification respectively along with a fine.
The Income Tax Department is committed to carrying forward the drive against tax evasion and action against tax evaders will continue in all earnest in the remaining part of the current Financial Year. (CBDT PRESS RELEASE, DATED 12-1-2018)
CDBT Introduces E-portal for complaints filing on tax evasion grievances, etc.
CBDT has introduced an automated dedicated e-portal on the Department’s e-filing website to collect and process Queries about offences of the Income Tax Act, 1961, Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015 and the Benami Transactions Act, 1988. (as amended).
The citizens could now file a tax evasion petition via a connection on the Dept e-filing website under the heading “Tax evasion complaint/unrevealed foreign asset/Benami property.
“Upon the successful filing of the query the Tax Department will assign a unique number to each query and the complainant will be able to display the condition of the query on the income tax Department’s website.
The purpose of the said initiative is to improve interaction with the income Tax Dept while at the same time strengthening its commitment to e-governance.
The proposed project enables the filing of people complaining by persons who are current holders of PAN and Aadhaar, as well as those who do not have PAN or Aadhaar.
Following an OTP-based validation process (mobile and/or e-mail), the complainant may file complaints regarding violations of the Income Tax Act, 1961, Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Assets and Income) Imposing the Tax Act, 1961 and the Benami Transactions Prevention Act (as amended) in 3 independent forms intended for this reason.
On the further successful filing of the complaint, the department will assign a unique number to each complaint and the complainant will be able to view the status of the complaint on the department’s website.
This e-portal is just yet another initiative of the Tax Department to make it easier to come into contact with the Dept while strengthening its commitment to e-governance, the statement said.
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