To render the chances of tax evasion even tough, the tax dept. is likely to launch Project Insight in September in collaboration with L&T Infotech. As part of the Operation Clean Money, the government has identified close to 10000 individuals who have brought in property worth over crores of rupees and have not paid taxes.
As per a tax official, "We have identified cases where people have bought property but have not paid taxes. These cases are across the country. More than 10,000 people have come under scrutiny." The cases have been identified based on the income declaration of individuals in tax returns. And the government is scrutinizing if these properties on which taxes have been evaded are benami holdings.
For the purpose, the tax department has hired global data mining and analytics firmsso as to profile taxpayers as well as map their financial transactions.
"We are following a non-intrusive approach, relying solely on the data mined. Notices have been sent out. Many firms and companies have also been identified, taking the number of cases higher than 10,000," the official added. Further, investigations and scrutiny shall later be carried out for properties worth less than Rs. 1 crore.
The information from different sources shall be collated and individuals shall be profiled based on their PAN details.
The Benami Transactions Prohibition Amendment Acts lays down an imprisonment of a maximum of seven years plus a fine that can be amount to 25% of the fair market value of the benami property.