Efforts to clamp down on black money have started yielding results. According to official data, money garnered from tax evaders or “non-filers” rose 30 times to almost Rs 7,100 crore in 2015-16 against Rs 235 crore in 2012-13.
The government caught hold of as many as 6.5 million individuals in 2015-16 who were sent notices to file their taxes. The data on such individuals is stored in the non-filers management system (NMS), which was introduced four years ago.
“Earlier people were evading taxes and the tax department was not able to catch them due to lack of adequate information. But, with the new efforts and databases, the government has managed to catch hold of many tax evaders. Notices sent to non-filers rose by 64 times in the last four years,” revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia said.
In 2012-13, tax department sent notices to just 105,000 people.
“In such cases, NMS first sends notices asking people to reply and file returns. These are intimation letters that seek clarity on the expenses made by people the corresponding income of which does not get reflected in their tax records. One of the biggest challenges of the tax department is to widen the tax base by including more and more people who pay taxes,” Adhia added.
The tax department has now started monitoring people who undertake high-value transactions but are not filing their tax returns.