I-T dept yet to recover Rs 12 crore tax | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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I-T dept yet to recover Rs 12 crore tax

The Income Tax (I-T) department may blame the economic slowdown for a shortfall in collection, but it doesn’t seem interested in recovering money kept on its platter for 14 years.

mumbai Updated: Mar 22, 2010 01:00 IST
Manish Pachouly

The Income Tax (I-T) department may blame the economic slowdown for a shortfall in collection, but it doesn’t seem interested in recovering money kept on its platter for 14 years.

Department files show it has yet to recover more than Rs 12 crore in a tax evasion case. The tax evasion was calculated during raids on seven people and companies belonging to a Bhayander-based builder group in January 1996.
Including the penalty and interest, the amount to be collected has now grown to be more than double of the original (about Rs 12 crore).

The failure to recover the amount has not only deprived the government of its revenue but is also making 71-year-old informer K.B. Gupta run from pillar to post to recover his reward of Rs 1 crore. It was Gupta’s information that resulted in the successful raid.

In reply to an application filed by Gupta under the Right to Information Act recently, the department said recovery proceedings are still in progress. It also added that no appeal is pending in the case.

Gupta on Thursday wrote a letter to the Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Mumbai, R.K. Singh, asking him the details of the tax recovered in the raid. Singh, when contacted, said he was out of town and would look into the matter once he comes back.

“I had been visiting the I-T office for 14 years to seek my reward,” said Gupta.

He added that he has written over 100 letters to different officials so far. “They only make false promises,” said Gupta, adding that every time the authorities say reports from the I-T ward concerned is pending and that is why his reward is getting delayed.

Gupta said after an informer’s information materialises in a successful raid, he is given an interim reward of Rs 1 lakh within a month. The remaining is given to the informer within three years after the department completes the final assessment and recovers the tax.

In this case, the authorities have also attached nine properties in Bhayander, Kandivli, Malad and Rajkot (Gujarat). “They have not taken any initiative to auction these properties which would have got the department a large part of the pending tax,” Gupta said.

A senior I-T official, requesting anonymity, said such attitude with informers would only harm the department. “The department’s information network is gradually diminishing and such an act would only create further dent in it.”