If you are not filing returns, or have stopped reporting your earnings, even though you make enough to be assessed by tax authorities, you could face prosecution, Finance Minister P.Chidambaram warned on Monday.
During searches and surveys, Chidambaram said, if anybody is found not filing or has stopped filing returns on income for the last three years, their cases would be taken up for prosecution.
“Fifteen such cases have already been identified,” Chidambaram told reporters after the annual conference of Chief Commissioners of Income Tax.
The minister also asked the Central Board of Direct Taxes to aim for higher tax collections than the target set in the budget for 2008-09. This year’s budget estimates direct tax collections to total Rs 3,65,000 crore.
But, given that tax collections grew 36 per cent last year and exceeded the revised estimates for 2007-08 by about Rs 15,000 crore, the minister said he was moving the goal post for this year. “I’ve asked the cbdt to revise upwards the (budget) estimate,” he said.
The government also plans to introduce biometric permanent account numbers for income tax payers, though initially only new applicants would be brought under its net. “Features have been finalised, what biometric measure will be used in the PAN card is being identified,” Chidambaram said. The biometric PAN card could use ‘iris’ scan for identification. The IT department had mooted introducing such cards when it found that over 13 lakh people out of about total four crore PAN card holders had duplicate cards.
Many had provided wrong information about their address or furnished different names to get two or three PAN cards.