Under 'Operation Clean Money', the Income Tax Department has decided to crack whip on those who fail to provide the details of cash deposits of Rs 5 lakh or more during the 50-day long demonetisation drive (November 8 to December 31, 2016).
According to reports, in a set instructions issued on the matter on Tuesday, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has asked officers to act against those who have offered or repaid loans in cash, which attract 100 per cent penalty.
It should be noted that under the law, no loans can be advanced in cash, even to friends, and cannot be repaid in cash. This has been done to avoid a situation where cash is shown as a loan or repayment, something that has been avoided in recent years.
The department had already sent communications to 18 lakh people who had made suspect deposits of over Rs 5 lakh during the demonetisation period, while nearly six lakh people have replied on the e-filing portal and have acknowledged to have made such deposits by February 15.
“It is reiterated that no independent enquiry or third party verifications are required to be made by the assessing officer outside the online portal. Whatever information is necessary for verification, the same has to be collected through the person under verification using online platform only. Even telephonic queries are to be avoided," CBDT said in the standard operating procedure for assessing officers.
Meanwhile, the department has also asked its officials to ensure there is no ‘threat, warning or show cause’ notice sent to taxpayers under its 'Operation Clean Money' aimed at checking black money after the government's demonetisation drive.
"It should be ensured that the communications made online with the persons under verification should be in very polite language without containing any element of threat or warning. No show cause of any kind should be given," the CBDT said.
It clarified that no person under verification as part of the operation is required to attend the department's office personally under any circumstance and at any stage.