Fresh I-T Dept instructions to banks | india | Hindustan Times
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Fresh I-T Dept instructions to banks

IN A bid to tighten noose around tax-evaders, the Finance Ministry, through the Income Tax Department, has issued fresh instructions to nationalised banks to inform the department about every account in which transactions of Rs 10 lakh or more have been made in any fiscal year. The banks have also been asked to keep a watch on ?suspicious and dubious? accounts and furnish details of all such accounts on their own to their respective Central Information Branch (CIB) of the department.

india Updated: Aug 11, 2006 01:36 IST

IN A bid to tighten noose around tax-evaders, the Finance Ministry, through the Income Tax Department, has issued fresh instructions to nationalised banks to inform the department about every account in which transactions of Rs 10 lakh or more have been made in any fiscal year.

The banks have also been asked to keep a watch on ‘suspicious and dubious’ accounts and furnish details of all such accounts on their own to their respective Central Information Branch (CIB) of the department. A monthly report about such accounts with details of account-holders has also been sought.

It may be recalled that a few months back it was made mandatory for all branches of the nationalised banks to send the floppy containing details of every transaction of Rs 1 lakh or more in any form on the last working day of every month. Although it is a difficult job for the banks to prepare a list of thousands of transactions worth Rs 1 lakh or more, including cash deposits or withdrawal, transfer from one account to another, investment in FDs or withdrawal with details of customers, their account number and Permanent Account Number (PAN), the banks have been religiously following the directives and undertaking the tedious exercise of preparing details sought by the Income Tax Department despite lack of staff.

However, the Herculean task of tracing big tax-evaders through their bank transactions have so far been proving an exercise in futility as the Central Information Branch (CIB) of the department here is ill-equipped and understaffed to process lakhs of data provided by the nationalised banks to it on regular basis. The CIB is not able to cope with the loads of information provided by the banks though recently it has started outsourcing the job of processing the data.

The CIB here is presently without a commissioner and the work is being managed with one assistant commissioner, one ITO and an additional commissioner who has additional charge in the CIB. Three posts of inspectors are lying vacant.

Sources said the CIB, on the average, has been receiving details of bank transactions of about 15,000 persons every month. Also, several account-holders whose details are being sent to the CIB did not have the PAN but succeeded in opening bank accounts by submitting Form 60 that exempted them from mentioning the PAN at the time of opening the account. They have been operating accounts and doing transactions of lakhs of rupees, said a source in the CIB adding that their job was not to initiate action against anybody but to pass on the information to the respective jurisdiction commissioner of the department.

Earlier, the CIB used to get details of each and every registry of land or house worth Rs 5 lakh or more besides sale of cars and their registration, new trade tax assesses and sale and purchase of shares through brokers. However, this system has now been abolished.