Revenue dept detects evasion of more than Rs 1.37 lakh cr in last 3 years

The Revenue Department on Friday 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 245 benami transactions have been identified and provisional attachmentsofproperties worth Rs 55 crore have already been madein 124 cases according to the amended benami transactions prohibition law which came into effect 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 evasion has 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 was effected through enforcement actions (searches, surveys, arrests, prosecutions) by the law enforcement agencies.

During the last three financial years, Income Tax investigations led to detection of more than 1,155 shell companies or 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.

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has issued more than a lakh notices for striking off names of defunct or non-compliant companies.

The government has already set up a high powered group forco-ordinating and monitoring the actions taken by departments concerned with the objective of eliminating the conduits of black money generation and application.

"Concerted and co-ordinated actions of Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) under the Department of Revenue have achieved phenomenal success in fighting the menace of black money during the last three years.The period has witnessed unprecedented enforcement actions in direct and indirect taxes," the statement added.

The Enforcement Directorate intensified its anti-money laundering actions by registering 519 cases and conducting 396 searches.

Arrests were made in 79 cases and properties worth Rs14,933 crore attached, 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 been streamlined and tightened, plugging the loopholes and strengthening the penal provisions," the Revenue Department said.

Also, effective steps have beentaken to track and curb cash transactions through various means like penalising cash transaction of more than Rs 2 lakh, limiting allow able cash expenseup to Rs 10,000 only, making Aadhaar mandatory for obtaining PAN and filing of income tax returns.

Also, the tax department has made it mandatory to quote PAN for cash deposits above Rs 50,000, made compulsory PAN linking with bank accounts and prohibited use of cash of Rs 20,000 or more in transfer of immovable property by imposition of a penalty of an equal amount.

It has also made mandatory reporting of cash 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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