08 Apr 2017 19:07 IST

Tax evasion: ₹1.37 lakh cr detected in last 3 years, says Finance Ministry

Warns of stringent action against tax dodgers

Warning tax-evaders of stringent action, the Finance Ministry on Friday said over ₹1.37 lakh crore of evaded tax has been detected in the past three years by tax authorities, who conducted 23,064 searches and surveys.

The evasion detected includes ₹69,434 crore in income tax, ₹11,405 in Customs duties, ₹13,952 crore in excise duty, and ₹42,727 crore in service tax.

“Simultaneously, criminal prosecutions were launched in 2,814 cases,” said the Finance Ministry, adding that the Enforcement Directorate has also registered 519 cases of money-laundering.

The Finance Ministry is working to further improve tax compliance through reforms such as the goods and services tax and Operation Clean Money, which is trying to identify those who deposited over ₹2 lakh of cash during the demonetisation window.

Tax officials detected over 1,155 shell companies and entities used as conduits by over 22,000 beneficiaries. “The amount involved in non-genuine transactions of such beneficiaries was more than ₹13,300 crore,” it said.

The Finance Ministry warned that the “relentless crusade against black money will be intensified in the coming days” and tax evaders and money launderers will have to pay a heavy price.

With the amendment of Benami Prohibition Act in November 2016, the government has identified more than 245 benami transactions. Provisional attachments of properties worth ₹55 crore have already been made in 124 cases.

With the passage of the Finance Act, further measures have also been taken to curb cash transactions such as penalising cash transactions of over ₹2 lakh, and making Aadhaar mandatory for obtaining Permanent Account Number (PAN) and filing of income-tax returns, said the Ministry.

PAN till June 30

The Central Board of Direct Taxes has extended the time window by three more months, till June 30, to furnish PAN or Form 60 by account-holders to their respective banks.

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