I-T dept chases taxpayers to recover Rs 5,000 crore
NEW DELHI: The income tax department has come across several cases where taxpayers have taken credit for payment of “self-assessment tax” without actually clearing the dues, resulting in arrears of around Rs 5,000 crore.
The non-payment has resulted in the department being unable to process income tax returns for the last financial year with authorities now approaching the assessees to immediately pay up, officials told TOI. “We are sending reminders at the moment, requesting them to clear the dues so that the tax returns can be processed,” said a senior officer.
Sources in the department said that several of these taxpayers had claimed that they would pay self-assessment tax, which has not been paid. Tax experts were, however, not clear about how the payments were not made, pointing out that there was a well-establishment system of checks and balances to prevent possible misuse of the facility.
Self-assessment tax is paid by thousands of taxpayers whose income and tax payments may not have been captured in the the Form 16 (issued by employers) or AS-26 form for TDS. For instance, capital gains tax may have accrued to an individual on the sale of shares or mutual funds, which needs to be cleared before returns are filed. At times, taxes on income from sources other than salary income are due, for which a taxpayer may need to pay self-assessment tax. While filing tax returns, the challan from the bank, along with BSR number is usually attached and the payment is also reflected on the income tax department’s tax platform.
While there may have been cases of such “defaults” in the past as well, the department is now better equipped to detect such lapses, thanks to the use of the technology platform for electronic filing and processing of returns, said officials. Authorities are tracking every possible source to generate resources in order to meet the current financial year’s direct tax collection target, especially as the government is hoping that this head will help it cover for possible shortfall under goods and services tax (GST). Sources said that the overall tax collections may be a shade lower than the budget estimate but the government will be able to meet the fiscal deficit target of 3.3% of GDP for the current financial year when the revised estimates are tabled in Parliament on February 1.
Source- Times of India.
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