Mission against black money yields results, number of tax returns filed goes up by 95 lakh


The government’s mission to curb black money, supported by demonetisation and various other measures, has started showing results as the number of people who filed tax returns has gone up by 95 lakh.

The figure, along with the presentation that it was a part of, was shown to PM Narendra Modi as part of the revenue department's review on Tuesday.

Despite being world’s second largest country in terms of population, India only sees tax returns filed by a little over 1% of the population. This has prompted the government to widen the tax net.

FY16 saw as many as 5.28 crore returns, up by 22% over the previous year.

The income-tax department, which has announced a sort of war against black money, had launched a crackdown against tax evaders after demonetisation. For this, it had listed 18 lakh names of people whose bank deposits of old currency notes didn’t match their income profiles. Not only this, the department also unearthed details of high-value purchases done after the demonetisation move was announced, clearly with a purpose to dispose off unaccounted money.

The department then used the data to identify tax evaders.

Called ‘Operation Clean Money’, this move by the government saw the names of tax evaders being made public. This led to people filing their tax returns to avoid being questioned by the authorities in the future.

Also read: Post demonetisation, tax officials detected Rs 5,400 crore of black money, carried out over 1100 searches

"A substantial chunk of these returns have been filed after the department's communication," an official told ET.
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