The Income Tax (I-T) department has set its sights on all deposits of Rs 2 lakh and above that have come into the bank accounts in the wake of the demonetization exercise announced on November 8. Besides, smaller deposits in dormant and Jan Dhan accounts are also under scrutiny. Earlier, the I-T department had said that deposits of up to Rs 2.5 lakh would not attract any scrutiny.
The demonetization exercise closes today.
While more than 5,000 notices have already been sent to account holders in the 50 days of the demonetization drive, thousands more are likely to be sent in the next few weeks.
“We have lowered the threshold for scrutiny from Rs 2.5 lakh..accounts that have received Rs 2 lakh are also being assessed…not just that we are also examining deposits of much smaller amounts in co-operative bank accounts or accounts that have remained dormant for years,” said a top government official, who did not wish to be identified.
The newly opened bank accounts and lockers are also being closely monitored to check transaction patterns and to rule out any discrepancy.
In the 50 days of demonetization drive, the I-T department has conducted 983 searches and surveys. It has seized Rs 458 crore in cash, of this Rs 105 crore is in new currency notes of Rs 2000. Jewellery worth Rs 92 crore has also been seized. Sources said that the admitted undisclosed income during these searches stood at over Rs 4000 crore.
“We will continue with our drive, we have zero tolerance level for those having black money..we have enough information to take appropriate steps,” Sushil Chandra, chairman Central Board of Direct Taxes, told Hindustan Times.
He added that, “Our work has just begun. With 90% of the demonetised currency back in bank accounts, tracking their legitimacy is our next move.”
Sources also said that the investigating agencies are also examining the role of the bank officials. “It would not have been possible without the help of the bank officials and in many instances they are also being probed,” they said. The Reserve Bank of India has also asked banks to preserve the CCTV recordings of the operations and transactions done by bank officials from November 8 to December 30.