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Tax-letters to buyers of 'lifestyle' items

IT deptt has started sending letters to buyers of 'lifestyle' items, asking them to file returns of their income.

india Updated: Feb 18, 2006 14:46 IST

After a nationwide 'lifestyle survey' on sale of expensive home theatres, plasma TVs, modular kitchen, watches and pens, the Income Tax department has started sending "polite" letters to buyers, asking them to file returns of their income.

Following a directive from Finance Minister P Chidambaram two years ago, the Income Tax department had started surveying art galleries and dealers of expensive branded consumer goods across the nation.

The survey, which reveals that more than 50 per cent of the purchase 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 send polite letters to those, who have not quoted their PAN numbers in the transaction," an informed source said.

In its letter to buyers of life style items, the department has asked for the PAN number and details of the return of income filed for the assessment year.

If a buyer does not have a PAN card or filed his or her returns, he has to state it in a proforma sent by the tax department.

In Delhi alone, the department has sent such letters to about 1,500 people. The number could touch 10,000 across the nation by the end of this fiscal.

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.

It came to light that over 70 per cent paid in cash for buying expensive pens worth Rs 5,000 or more.

About 55 per cent of buyers of home theatre and plasma TV paid in cash, while it was 50 per cent for modular kitchen.

While carrying out the survey, the I-T department unearthed large pool of concealed income at the hands of dealers. Dealers in Delhi admitted to possessing concealed income of about Rs 15-16 crore.

First Published: Feb 17, 2006 14:04 IST