The Income Tax (I-T) department has given tax defaulters a chance to voluntarily come forward and disclose their true income details through revised returns and has set a March 15 deadline for them.
The department, which on Friday disclosed that it had detected 150 cases of taxpayers using bogus bills worth Rs. 6,500 crore to show inflated expenses and thereby suppress taxable income, will penalise and prosecute them if they fail to file fresh returns by the given deadline.
“Taxpayers are informed that if they have availed of such bogus/non-genuine bills for purchases/expenses, they may come forward voluntarily and disclose the correct state of affairs by filing their returns/revised returns duly backed with payment of requisite taxes before specific detection by the department,” a statement issued by the I-T department said.
The department also found that defaulters have taken the help of a few hawala dealers (who use illegal channels to transfer money), to produce the fake bills. “The hawala dealers are being investigated and proper action will be taken against them,” a senior I-T official said. The department will rope in the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to take action against dealers.
In all, the VAT/sales tax department has come across 2,000 cases of tax evasion in the state. They shared the information with the I-T department, which then began a probe into the cases.
Officials said the government exchequer stands to get a few thousand crores if all defaulters come forth and pay the evaded tax. “This will help at a time when the economy is not doing well and the I-T department is likely to fall short of the collection target,” the official said.