Operation Clean Money saw the Income Tax department send notices to 18 lakh individuals last month. Of these, only 5.27 lakh individuals have replied, confirming the deposits in 7.41 lakh accounts.
The IT department sent notices to individuals who they thought were making suspicious deposits following demonetisation on November 8 last year. Less than 1/3rd of such individuals responded to the notices, providing information pertaining to deposits in 25,000 new accounts. Additionally, they also provided information on the increase in deposits in 90,000 accounts in the 50-day period following demonetisation.
Officials will look into these accounts to see whether the deposits were genuine or a front for money laundering.
What is Operation Clean Money?
Demonetisation saw the number of bank accounts in the country rise sharply, with the quantum of money deposited into these accounts raising concerns. Over 1 crore new accounts were opened under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, with the balance in these accounts jumping by over Rs.30,000 crore in the month following demonetisation.
The IT department launched Operation Clean Money following this, sending out notices to individuals who had made deposits of Rs.5 lakh or more into their accounts. Such individuals have time till February 15, 2017 to reply and explain the source of funds.
In addition to receiving responses on the deposits, the department also identified over 4.8 lakh taxpayers who are unregistered under the e-filing portal. These taxpayers received an SMS from the department for the same and they should register themselves on the official portal of the income tax department.
Individuals who fail to respond to the notice within the stipulated time could see action taken against them. Officials have also provided a detailed FAQ section to help taxpayers with any queries they might have.