Since the November 8, 2016, ban on high denomination currency notes, the Income Tax department has identified 18 lakh people who have made 'suspicious' cash deposits, including those having deposited over Rs 5 lakh. To probe them further, the department will send emails and SMSes seeking explanation about their source of funds.
These people will have to reply within 10 days to avoid any notice from the tax department or further enforcement action.
The department today launched 'Operation Clean Money' project under which CBDT, with data analysis and profiling of assessees, will send e-communications to people whose cash deposits post November 8 note ban do not match their income.
"Operation Clean Money/Swachh Dhan Abhiyan is a programming software which will be used to get answers on all the deposits made and after preliminary answers from the people. Then only, if need be, we would take legal action against those people," Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said.
Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman Sushil Chandra said 10 days' time would be given to people to reply to the e-communication and replies can be filed by logging on to the e-filing portal of the Income Tax department.
"In the initial phase, we are putting data of those persons who have deposited Rs 5 lakh or more and deposits between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 5 lakh of suspicious nature and who have poor tax compliance after November 8," Chandra said.
Initially, this will cover 18 lakh tax payers whose data will be uploaded on e-filing portal. These people while filing reply have to explain to tax department the sources of deposit.
Chandra said that tax department has compiled huge data which shows that there are over 1 crore accounts where above Rs 2 lakh money have been deposited and involves unique PAN of 70 lakh persons.
"We have compared these vast data with the income profile, turnover and the various other particulars of income available in the income tax data bank. In the first phase where the deposits in account are not matching with our data, we are putting the same on our e-filing portal seeking explanation of source of income," he said.
Chandra said the intention of the scheme is to avoid any harassment to the tax payer, they need not come to office and online verification would be completed.
"Swachh Dhan Abhiyan is a continuous exercise to widen and deepen the tax base. All the accounts in which money has been deposited will be tracked and we have hired the data analytics and we will identify the ultimate beneficiaries even in layered accounts," he said.
(With PTI inputs)