The Income Tax department has decided to publish the names of defaulters who owe more than Rs 10 crore as unpaid taxes after it unearthed details of such assessees recently.
The department has decided to send show cause notices to such assessees, who have reported "no assets/inadequate assets for recovery", by the end of this month, asking why their names should not be published and put in the public domain.
"After receiving their replies, we will decide on making their names public in newspapers and on the Internet. Every case will be decided on merit," a senior I-T official said.
The department got a boost in its efforts to trace such tax payers after it recently got a dossier on them from the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and from the records of a few enforcement and intelligence agencies.
"The names have been finalised after the department got their details from various agencies. The show cause notices have been prepared," the official said.
The measure has been initiated after the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) in June constituted a committee in this regard and was headed by I-T Director General (Administration) to examine suggestions on pending I-T demands under the categories "assessees not traceable" and "no assets/inadequate assets for recovery".
Constitution of this committee was among one of the many measures which the government initiated to fight black money.
For the cases where the assessees are not traceable, we are gathering more information before taking legal action. The publication of names will be done in a phased manner,beginning with those taxpayers who owe more than Rs 10 crore, the official said.