Demonetisation effect: 90 searches in 12 days by IT officials

IT officials looking to crack down on illegal ways of using old 500 and 1000 notes

IT officials are really busy these days, especially after the government’s demonetisation move which was announced on November 8.

Income tax officials have been working to crack down on illegal ways of using the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, and the number of searches conducted has been increased in the last 12 days.

Demonetisation effect: 90 searches in 12 days by IT officials
IT Department

Focus areas of the Tax department

IT department usually conducts 30-35 searches in a month, but the last 12 days alone have seen 90 such operations. “Our primary focus has been to block all attempts to legalise black money since Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 were demonetised on November 8,” said a top official of the tax department.

The real estate, manufacturing, trading and educational institutions have emerged as the key areas for the department, a source said.

“We are keeping a close watch on bank deposits. Any deposit that does not match the account holders’ income will attract tax, penalty and interest and could also lead to imprisonment,” stated the source.

IT officials action

The government had said that all bank deposits of over Rs 2.5 lakh were being watched, and any mismatch could lead to heavy penalty.

“It is not just after demonetisation, the tax department has in general stepped up its efforts to crack down on black money since the last two years,” said an official from the finance ministry.

Demonetisation effect: 90 searches in 12 days by IT officials
Old Rs 500 and Rs1000 notes

In the past seven months between April and October, the IT department has disclosed income worth Rs. 7,700 crore. “This is the black money that we have recovered and where the people have owned up,” said a source from the finance ministry.

In the past two years, the government has announced two disclosure schemes, one for foreign assets and the other on undisclosed income. Both were one-time windows, and the last was the Income Disclosure Scheme that ended in September 2016.

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