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IT Department using big data for black money deposits


Anyone who has deposited cash or purchased high value items after the November 8 demonetisation not in line with income declared in tax returns may have reason to worry as the authorities sift through tonnes of data generated in the past two months or so. They are also using data analytics to parse for points of similarity to see if any attempt has been made to split up transactions to avoid suspicion. The income tax department is likely to put such names on its website soon, making it mandatory for them to explain such transactions.

Armed with information on deposits and purchases in the wake of demonetisation, the tax department is pursuing presumed wrongdoing with unprecedented intensity.

“We are working on a new online mechanism whereby names of those whose deposits or transactions do not match will be put up and information be accessed via permanent account number (PAN) of the individual,” said a senior Central Board of Direct Taxes official.

Deposits below Rs 2.5 lakh could come also under the scanner. Data analytics is being used to look at various parameters such as common addresses or phone numbers or whether these are held by members of the same family to determine the names of individuals who have made deposits not commensurate with their tax profile. Those who find their names on the website will likely have to log in to their income tax account using the PAN or create an account to access the query.

“We have information flowing in from different sources including Financial Intelligence Unit… We will be able to reach everyone,” the official said.

Information received from various sources including suspicious transaction reports are being passed on to not just the investigation and intelligence wings but also field formations. These officials are already through with assessments this year and will now be focusing wholly on post-demonetisation data.

The income tax department has carried out 556 surveys and 245 searches between November 9 and December 29. Total currency seizures amount to Rs 467 crore, of which new notes were over Rs 105 crore. More than 5,000 notices have been issued so far for verification and about 228 cases have been referred to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

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