I-T officials to be armed with info on evader's assets

I-T officials to be armed with info on evader's assets

With tax arrears of Rs 2,13,646 crore due as on April 1 this year, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) is following an Action Plan that includes swift action by tax officials and confiscating assets of defaulters, among others.

“An effective strategy for collection of arrears and current demand is to empower the AO (Assessing Officer or the tax official) with relevant information regarding the movable and immovable assets of the assessees,” a Finance Ministry official told PTI.

The government has already collected tax arrears of Rs 3,548 crore in the first quarter of this year (April-June), the official said, adding the collections were in line with expectations.

The action plan for collection of tax arrears, includes quick action by the tax official, ascertaining the tax liability for attachment and recovery of assets of the person whose tax arrear is pending.

“The modes used by the AO are to identify the current assets and take necessary action for attachment and recovery for the same,” the official added.

The Rs 2,13,646 crore tax arrears pending as on April 1 2009, include Rs 82,913 crore tax demand raised by the department during 2008-09.

The demand arrears are those tax demands which have been raised by the department but not received from the tax payer.

Much of this demand at Rs 71,874 crore is attributable to one group— the Hassan Ali Group.

If this demand is reduced, then the total tax arrear demand as on April one, 2009 stands at Rs 1,41,772 crore which is marginally higher than the arrear demand carried forward as on April 1 last year.

Meanwhile, according to the plan, in cases where the tax demands remain irrecoverable inspite of exercise of the power of recovery conferred under the Income Tax Act, the write off of such arrears should be considered as per instructions laid out on the subject.

“The Local Committees on write off could look into old outstandings, which have become difficult to recover,” the official pointed out.