This should sound alarm bells for the state’s big traders who have long been evading tax by adopting different tricks and mostly getting away too.
The commercial tax department is gathering intelligence inputs about all such traders to be able to keep an eye on their activities with a view to pouncing on them at the right time.
Having recently set up an intelligence committee headed by additional commissioner Shelvakumari, an IAS officer, at the headquarters level, the department has asked the field officials to collect all the relevant data, doing profiling of prominent traders under their sectors (areas) and forward the same input to the headquarters by the end of next week for further analysis and action.
“We are gathering data and all other intelligence feedback about traders suspected of evading tax,” commercial tax commissioner Mrityunjaya Kumar Narayan told Hindustan Times.
He said traders evaded tax on different commodities by adopting different tactics. Their profiling and a regular watch on their activities, he claimed, would help check the tax evasion to a big extent.
The field officers have, therefore, been asked to secretly gather information about the commodities a trader deals in, the godowns he uses to store the goods, the type and registration number of vehicles he uses to transport commodities, the name of transporters who are suspected to be assisting him in evading tax, the names of the agencies he has trade links with, besides other personal data.
They are also required to give information on the action taken against a trader in the past and explaining as to what methods he adopted to evade the tax.
“The department is trying to develop a system akin to the one in police stations where different registers are maintained with beat cops gathering intelligence about activities in their areas and entering the same information in the registers,” explained sources.
“The intelligence committee will regularly monitor and oversee the work done by the field intelligence units and also analyse the data received from the field,” the sources said.
In another significant and related move, the department has also developed different modules for its mobile squads requiring them to enter into the computer each and every information related to any action taken against a dealer/trader while checking the shipment on way.
“They will be required to enter the information like name of the commodity, its quantity and value, name of the receiver of the goods, and bill no,” says the circular issued on Saturday.
Sources claimed that this system would make it impossible for the mobile units to furnish fake information on their claims about checking vehicles on the one hand and help the department in creating a history of a dealer on the other hand.
“Particular dealers may be found guilty of transporting goods unfairly to evade tax. The new system will help the department prepare their history sheet,” the sources explained.