Taxmen to hunt dodgers | india | Hindustan Times
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Taxmen to hunt dodgers

Only about 3 per cent of India's more than a billion people pay taxes despite a rapidly growing economy.

india Updated: Apr 03, 2006 16:21 IST
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Authorities are looking to monitor buyers of more expensive items to track down tax dodgers, a financial ministry official said on Monday, as the cash-strapped government tries to raise its revenues.

Only about 3 per cent of India's more than a billion people pay taxes despite a rapidly growing economy, which has spurred demand for goods from air-conditioners to cars.

"They (Central Board of Direct Taxes authorities) might add some more items. They might extend to more cities. It certainly traces tax evaders and get more revenues," the official, who did not wish to be identified, said.

A survey of dealers selling items such as plasma TVs, modular kitchens, home theatres and expensive watches and pens found last year that half of the transactions were done on cash payment, the official said.

"Last year's lifestyle surveys in 14 major cities were a success," he said, adding that a majority of the buyers did not quote their permanent account number, a tax code that is mandatory for high value transactions.

"The survey helped identify persons buying lifestyle products and whether their income is commensurate with the expenditure on these products," the official said.

It also helped the tax department to check whether retailers were concealing income, he added.

The union government aimed to collect Rs 2,741.39 billion in taxes in the fiscal year that ended on March 31, but officials say there could be a shortfall when the final accounts are released in June.

In 2006/07, India expects taxes to grow an ambitious 21 per cent to Rs 3,272.05 billion.