Income tax officials are scanning over 35,000 Jan Dhan accounts in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand which have shown suspicious activity since demonetisation of high value currency on November 8.
The accounts were identified during random checking or on the basis of credible leads. Taxmen suspect this could only be the tip of the iceberg.
“Our real work will start after December 30 when the deadline for cash deposit ends,” a source said. Although people will be able to deposit cash till March 2017 at select RBI counters, I-T officials believe the picture would be clear by the year-end.
As an additional safeguard, people would be required to fill an additional column while filing income tax returns mentioning the number of times they deposited or withdrew cash.
The new ITR form will be used for financial year 2016-17 and assessment year 2017-18. Of the estimated 25.51 crore Jan Dhan accounts opened under the Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), about 3,89,96,949 were opened in UP and Uttarakhand alone. Of these, zero balance accounts are in greater demand since the demonetization announcement as they provide “additional parking space”.
UP and Uttarakhand jointly account for bulk of 5.8 crore zero balance accounts. In a bid to evade the I-T department, many people with undisclosed wealth have begun parking their cash in these accounts by luring account holders with commissions.
According to reports, the Modi government may pass on the benefits of increased cash liquidity to the poor holding zero balance Jan Dhan accounts ahead of the assembly elections in key states. But before this, the government apparently wants taxmen to ensure that these accounts have not been misused to park black money.
After assuring the people that deposits up to Rs 2.5 lakh would not be questioned, Prime Minister Narendra Modi used the recent Agra rally to appeal to the poor not to allow misuse of Jan Dhan accounts.
Many are interpreting the PM’s appeal as an indication that those who let their accounts to be misused could miss out on benefits that the government has planned for them.
“The moment any Jan Dhan account shows deposits exceeding Rs 50,000, it will be treated as a regular savings account. Any account under PMJDY showing a sudden deposit of Rs 40,000 or more may be put under watch,” a source said.