The income-tax department picked up only 0.35 per cent of 6.86 crore returns filed in FY18 for scrutiny suggesting most taxpayers need not worry of getting a notice.
The central board of direct taxes (CBDT) chairman Sushil Chandra said the department has faith in taxpayers, but added it will not allow tax-evaders to go scot-free.
“We have increased the tax base and have full faith in taxpayers. Last year, we got 6.86 crore returns and I have picked up only 0.35 per cent cases for scrutiny. This means 99.65 per cent of return filers can be at peace,” Chandra said at an Assocham event here.
He said out of this, 0.35 per cent cases picked up for scrutiny, 0.15 per cent is for ‘limited scrutiny’ and 0.20 per cent for ‘full scrutiny’.
“This shows that in only high tax evasion cases, we will go for scrutiny,” Chandra said.
The tax department has devised a system-based method in a centralised manner through CASS (computer-assisted scrutiny selection) for choosing returns for scrutiny. It is based on detailed analysis of risk parameters and 360-degree data profiling of taxpayers. Once a taxpayer is selected for scrutiny, he is required to provide a number of documents to the assessing officer to ascertain tax evasion.
Scrutiny of tax returns has been an issue of grievance for many assessees. Earlier about 1 per cent of the income tax returns filed were picked up for scrutiny on random basis. This has now been brought down to 0.35 per cent.
The tax authorities filed 4,700 cases for prosecution last year on the basis of data with the department.
“We are also making our enforcement unit stronger to deal with severely in case of a tax evasion,” he said.
“You can send money to any tax haven or country but we have also got system of automatic exchange of information with many countries. Nobody is going to escape, we have information. People (tax evaders) think boundaries are too far, but the economic boundaries of different countries are very close to each other,” he stressed.
In 2017-18, CBDT had collected 18 per cent more revenue at Rs 10.03 lakh crore on account of income tax and corporate tax on account of better compliance.