Operation Clean Money puts nine lakh accounts under scanner

In a major development, almost half of the 18 lakh people under the I-T scanner for suspicious bank deposits after demonetisation have been placed in the ‘doubtful’ category. However, action against them will only be taken once the new tax amnesty scheme ends on March 31.

According to a report in PTI, as part of ‘Operation Clean Money’, the I-T department had sent SMS and e-mails to 18 lakh people. As per the department’s data analysis, they had made suspicious deposits of over Rs 5 lakh during the 50-day window that was given to get rid of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 rupee post demonetisation on November 8. The deadline to clarify on the deposits and their source was February 15.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles/Freedigitalphotos.net.

The report added that as per sources in the government those who did not reply must have “good legal explanation” for their cash deposits. But, even showing the amount in income tax returns is not sufficient. Any irregular rise in income for 2016-17 over earlier years would be considered as unaccounted wealth.

“However, since the SMS and e-mail correspondence do not have any legal backing, the department will have to send formal notices and then wait till March 31 for the end of tax amnesty scheme PMGKY and then take action against doubtful cases,” the source was quoted as saying in the PTI report.

The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) will be open till March 31 this year. Action, if to be taken against depositors, will thus be done only after the scheme closes. Till then, the depositors have the choice to disclose the wealth and pay taxes.

Under the PMGKY scheme, people with unaccounted cash have been given a window to come clean by paying 50 per cent of it as tax, penalty and surcharge. Sources further said that as many as 9 lakh accounts of the 18 lakh people who have got SMS are “doubtful”.

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