I-T Deparment eyes ?lifestyle? to widen net | india | Hindustan Times
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I-T Deparment eyes ?lifestyle? to widen net

THE INCOME Tax Department is working on a new method for further increasing number of taxpayers and thereby tax income. Under a statewide ?lifestyle survey? on sale of expensive home theatres, plasma TVs, air-conditioners, modular kitchen and watches, the Income Tax Department has started sending ?polite? letters to buyers, asking them to file returns of their income.

india Updated: Apr 23, 2006 13:41 IST

THE INCOME Tax Department is working on a new method for further increasing number of taxpayers and thereby tax income. Under a statewide ‘lifestyle survey’ on sale of expensive home theatres, plasma TVs, air-conditioners, modular kitchen and watches, the Income Tax Department has started sending ‘polite’ letters to buyers, asking them to file returns of their income.

These letters were sent by the department after a comprehensive survey undertaken by the Investigation Wing of the department. Household items along with electronic and other expensive items of over Rs 25,000 were covered under the ongoing survey.

In Bhopal alone, the department sent such letters to about 2,000 people. Similar letters were issued to the people in Gwalior, Jabalpur, Indore and Raipur.

The recent lifestyle survey revealed that a majority of the such items were bought in cash, which points to unaccounted money in the hands of a large number of individuals. While carrying out the survey, the I-T Department unearthed large pool of concealed income in the hands of dealers.

Following a directive from Finance Minister P Chidambaram, the department had started surveying art galleries and dealers of expensive branded consumer goods across the State.

The survey, which reveals that more than 50 per cent of the purchases have been carried out in cash and buyers have not quoted their PAN numbers, is likely to be continued to keep a trail on black money and catch tax dodgers.
“We had carried out a lifestyle survey.

We might continue with this. We have got the list of buyers and have send polite letters to those who have not quoted their PAN in the transaction,” said Chief Commissioner Income Tax, A K Luthra.

In its letter to buyers of lifestyle items, the department has asked for the PAN number and details of the return of income filed for the assessment year, said Luthra. If a buyer does not have a PAN card or has not filed his or her returns, he has to state it in a pro forma sent by the department, he said.

Talking to Hindustan Times Luthra said that constant monitoring of such cases would not only ensure increase in tax collection but also number of taxpayers. “We would keep constant monitoring on returns filed by those issued letters,” he added.

Apart from lifestyle items, taxmen are tracking credit card payment above Rs 2 lakh and cash deposit with a bank of over Rs 10 lakh through the annual information return and sending similar letters to people, who fall under this category.