Govt steps to tackle tax evasion

By | May 8, 2016

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Finance

Date: 06-May-2016

Capital Gains Tax

Appropriate action against tax evasion, including evasion of tax on capital gains, is an on-going process. Whenever such cases are noticed by the Income Tax Department, appropriate action is taken under direct taxes law. Such action is not dependent upon a demand to be made to the Government. The actions under the Income-tax Act, 1961 include searches, surveys, enquiries, assessment of income, levy of tax, interest & penalty and filing of prosecution complaints before criminal courts, wherever applicable. Such tax, interest and penalty form part of the total liability of each assessee and is enforced accordingly. Therefore, separate data for liability on account of tax, interest and penalty attributable to evasion of tax on capital gains is not maintained. Further, disclosure of information regarding specific taxpayers is prohibited except as provided in section 138 of the Income-tax Act, 1961.

Periodic review of the Government’s mechanism for taking corrective steps is an on-going process. In recent times, the Government has taken several effective measures, both by way of policy-level initiatives as well as through more effective enforcement action on the ground, to tackle tax evasion. These steps include putting in place robust legislative and administrative frameworks, systems and processes with due focus on capacity building and integration of information and its mining through increasing use of information technology. Major initiatives taken by the Government in the recent past include – (i) Constitution of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Black Money under Chairmanship and Vice-Chairmanship of two former Judges of Hon’ble Supreme Court, (ii) Introduction of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, 2015 to amend the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988 with a view to, inter alia, enable confiscation of Benami property and provide for prosecution, (iii) While focusing upon non-intrusive measures, due emphasis on enforcement measures in high impact cases with a view to prosecute the offenders at the earliest possible for credible deterrence against tax evasion, (iv) Initiation of the information technology based ‘Project Insight’ by the Income Tax Department for strengthening the non-intrusive information driven approach for improving tax compliance and effective utilization of available information, (v) Legislative measures including amendments in the Income-tax Act, 1961.

This was stated by Shri Jayant Sinha, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

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