New Delhi: The Income Tax department has decided to tighten the noose around wilful tax defaulters. The department will "block" Permanent Account Number (PAN) of tax evading entities, get their LPG subsidy cancelled and will also take measures to ensure that they are not sanctioned loans.
The tax department has mooted a number of such measures, to be undertaken this financial year, in order to curb the menace of large-scale tax avoidance and evasion.
As per a strategy paper prepared by the department, the taxman will block PAN in such a way "that these defaulters are not sanctioned any loans or overdraft facility by public sector banks, as the same is bound to become non-performing assets".
Further, it said, "Ministry of Finance can be suggested to withdrawn facility like LPG subsidy which is directly credited in to the bank accounts of the said defaulters."
This step, the strategy paper said, will act to "disincentive" the defaulters.
The taxman also proposes that the identities of such blocked PANs be circulated to the Registrar of Properties "with a request for not allowing any registration of immovable properties where such PANs are involved."
Such defaulters' information has also been recommended to be circulated across tax offices so that their activities loans or government subsidy can be plugged country-wide.
The department has also decided to subscribe to the Credit Information Bureau Limited (CIBIL) data, on a possible payment basis, to check out the financial activities of defaulters and undertake action against them for recovery and freezing of assets.
CIBIL is an agency to collect and maintain records of an entitity's payments pertaining to loans and credit cards.
The department, beginning last year, has also started to 'name and shame' large tax defaulters (over Rs 20 crore default) by publishing their names and other credentials in leading national dailies and on its official web portal.
Till now, 67 such entities have been put in public domain by the department.
The IT department, beginning this financial year, has also decided to publicly name all category of taxpayers who have a default of Rs one crore and above.
"Tax default is a major menace that the department is grappling with.These new measures are aimed to curb these instances in the right earnest," a senior IT official said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently set a new target for the department and asked it to double its taxpayers base to 100 million.
India’s taxpayer base is 54.3 million and the aim is to increase it to 100 million, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said at a press briefing after the interaction with the Prime Minister last week.
Starting this year, furnishing PAN details is mandatory for cash transactions made for hotel bills or foreign travel exceeding Rs 50,000. It is also a must for all transactions, including the purchase of jewellery, above Rs2 lakh in cash or through a card.
Providing PAN details is also mandatory on the purchase of immovable property of over Rs 10 lakh and term deposits exceeding Rs 50,000 at one go or Rs 5 lakh in a year with banks, post offices and non-banking financial companies. It is also a must for opening bank accounts, except those that come under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana scheme.
(With PTI inputs)