I-T dept sets eyes on benami assets acquired in past 3 years
Government sources said that depending on the response the department receives, it will decide whether or not to probe into cases that are beyond the three-year period.india Updated: Jun 03, 2017 00:13 IST
The income tax (I-T) department has decided to clamp down on benami assets, including houses, plots and jewellery, acquired in the past three years during the first phase of its crackdown on nameless property.
Government sources said that depending on the response the department receives, it will decide whether or not to probe into cases that are beyond the three-year period.
“We will first take a three year period from 2014 to clamp down on benami properties. The department will act only on the basis of evidence, we cannot start going after people on an ad hoc basis,” a senior official of the finance ministry’s revenue department told HT on the condition of anonymity.
All those whose tax returns do not match their asset values will be served notice by the I-T department, which would also continue to focus on the already pending cases.
In a review meeting with taxmen held last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi underlined the urgent need to take all the necessary steps against all those who were in possession of benami properties.
I-T officials were hopeful that their decision to zero in on benami transactions that took place in past three years would yield favourable results.
“This will be a long drawn process and could take more than three years for the seized properties to get auctioned. We are expecting this exercise to have a far greater impact and yield better results than demonetisation,” an I-T official said.
The I-T department has already initiated action under the new Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 that came into effect from November. The finance ministry has said that taxmen have so far identified over 400 benami transactions and properties have been provisionally attached in more than 240 cases under the act.
A statement issued by the ministry said that the market value of the attached properties is more than ?600 crore. The department has set up 24 dedicated benami prohibition units across the country to expedite the process of combing down of the illegal properties.