Operation Clean Money to Perform a Surgical Strike on 18 Lakh Accounts
Individuals will be asked to divulge source of large cash transactions post demonetisation
The government said it has identified 18 lakh individuals who will be required to divulge the source of large cash transactions that they undertook in the weeks after demonetisation as part of the income-tax department’s Operation Clean Money/ Swachh Dhan Abhiyan initiative.
An integral part of the government’s campaign against black money, the account holders have been targeted through the use of data analytics to sift through information for the period between November 9, when the old ₹ 500 and ₹ 1,000 notes ceased to be legal tender, and December 30, when the window for their deposit in banks ended.
These 18 lakh persons have been identified by the tax department as their transactions did not match their tax profile. Cases are being selected for verification on the basis of approved risk criteria, officials said. The tax department has enabled online verification of these transactions to ensure that people do not face any harassment at the hands of tax officials. Every permanent account holder will be able to view information about his or her transaction using the income tax e-filing portal. ET had reported on January 2 about the income-tax department's plan to put information online. “Operation Clean Money/Swachh Dhan Abhiyan is a programming software which will be used to get answers on all the deposits made and only after preliminary answers from the people, if need be, we would take legal action against those people,” revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia said on Tuesday.
Separately, they will be also informed through messages and emails by the income-tax department and will have to file their explanation online at the https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in portal within 10 days to avoid tax notices and enforcement action.
“People must come clean and pay the tax In the Crosshairs
due,” said CBDT chairman Sushil Chandra. In the initial phase, the department will put up data of persons who have deposited ₹ 5 lakh or more, suspicious transactions below ₹ 5 lakh, and up to ₹ 3 lakh and with poor tax compliance. These have been selected where deposits don’t match tax profiles with the department. During the seven-week deposit window, more than ₹ 2 lakh was deposited as cash in more than 1 crore accounts that have more than 70 lakh PANs attached to them, Chandra said. “If we are satisfied with the information, there will be no follow-up. Data analytics will be used to undertake the entire exercise,” he added.
Information on cash deposits will be displayed at the e-filing portal mentioned above in the compliance section. Taxpayers can mention how much of the cash is from previous savings, whether the money is from another person or withdrawn from another bank account, the government said. “There’s a reference guide and helpdesk number given as well,” it said.
If a case is selected for verification, requests for additional information and other responses will be communicated electronically. The verification will be closed if the cash deposit is declared under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY), the disclosure scheme for black money.
All accounts that have a balance of ₹ 5 lakh or in which `2 lakh was deposited during the demonetisation period will need to be compliant with know-your-customer (KYC) norms. Without this, the Reserve Bank of India won’t allow money to be withdrawn from them.