Over 1 crore bank accounts have been scrutinised by the Income Tax Department in its bid to unearth black money from such accounts. The department has embarked on a mission to crack down on accounts which have seen black money deposits following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to demonetise currency in November 2016. The IT Department has roped in experts who have used big data analytics to weed out such suspicious accounts.
Notices have been sent to 18 lakh individuals so far, with these individuals expected to furnish responses for the same. These notices have been issued by officers equal to the rank of Assistant Commissioner and above, thereby ensuring that taxpayers aren’t harassed. Anyone who has received a notice will be expected to explain the source of funds, failing which action can be taken against them.
Titled ‘Operation Clean Money’, the initiative has seen the department send notices to individuals who have deposited a sum of Rs.5 lakh and above in their account. Only suspicious deposits made between November 10 and December 30 are being scrutinised currently.
Big data analytics
The Income Tax Department keeps a record of all taxpayers in the country, with it using the details of returns filed during the assessment year 2014-2015 to verify antecedents. Accounts which have seen deposits which do not toe the profile of the individual are classified as suspicious, with emails and SMSs sent out to such account holders.
Individuals who are able to explain the source of such deposits will not be subject to any action, with the department keen on ensuring that honest taxpayers aren’t subjected to harassment.
Increase in Jan Dhan accounts post demonetisation
The number of Jan Dhan accounts in the country has seen a sharp increase ever since demonetisation, giving rise to the suspicion that a number of these accounts were opened to channel black money into the system. A big data team was incorporated to weed out any fake accounts, with the Niti Aayog looking into this aspect.