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Spending big? Taxman’s watching

The next time you spend big on your credit card, don’t be surprised if the taxman decides to pay you a visit, reports Manish Pachouly.

business Updated: Jun 14, 2008 02:34 IST
Manish Pachouly

The next time you spend big on your credit card, don’t be surprised if the taxman decides to pay you a visit.

Struggling to meet a revised all-India collection target of Rs 4 lakh crore — the earlier target was Rs 3.65 lakh crore — income-tax officials are looking for huge credit card spends, large withdrawals from bank accounts and luxury goods purchases.

The target was revised earlier this week to make up for the loss — Rs 22,660 crore — incurred by the slashing of duties on fuel to minimise the impact of the price rise on the common man.

The decision to raise the target was taken at the annual meeting of chief commissioners of income-tax earlier this week in New Delhi.

Though Mumbai’s share in the target is not finalised, officials expect it to be around Rs 1.39 lakh crore.

Worried officials are looking for any way they can to raise collections, even doggedly pursuing minor evasions, which wasn’t the case earlier.

A senior income-tax officer said that generally the target is raised by 16 to 18 per cent over the previous year’s collection. The revised target for 2008-09 is a rise of 27 per cent over last year.

“It would be very difficult to achieve it,” said another officer. He said the department would now intensify scrutiny and raids. “We’ll have to devote more time to even small evasions.”

Though the authorities have always kept a watch on credit card usage and large cash withdrawals, this year the department will keep an eagle eye on them. Data on big spenders has been computerised and a constant watch is being kept on them.

Last year, the department surpassed its target of Rs 3.1 lakh crore by Rs 4,000 crore.