At least $44 billion of tax evaded income deposited in banks after demonetisation: Govt

PTI New Delhi, India Jan 10, 2017, 11.18 AM(IST)

India is the highest in the Forbes list with 69% bribery rate. Photograph:( AFP )

As it analyses bank deposits post-demonetisation, the government has found nearly Rs 25,000 crore ($3.7 billion) cash was deposited in dormant bank accounts while an estimated Rs 3-4 lakh (around $44 billion) crore of tax-evaded income could have been deposited into banks during 50-day window provided to get rid of junked Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.

A senior official said the Income Tax department has been asked to scrutinise details and send notices to depositors of of Rs 3-4 lakh crore (around $44 billion) on which tax could have been evaded.

"We now have trunkloads of data, analysis of which shows that more than Rs 2 lakh was deposited in over 60 lakh bank accounts post demonetisation. The total amount deposited in these accounts is more than 7.34 lakh crore ($107 billion)," he said.

More than Rs 10,700 crore ($1.5 billion) cash was deposited in different accounts in the North Eastern states since November 9, he said adding the Income Tax department and the Enforcement Directorate — the country's economic enforcing agency — are looking into over Rs 16,000 crore ($2.3 billion) deposited in different accounts of cooperative banks.

Also, it has come to light that Rs 25,000 crore ($3.6 billion) cash was deposited in dormant bank accounts while nearly Rs 80,000 crore ($11.7 billion) of repayment of loans was done in cash since November 8, 2016 when the government demonetised old 500 and 1000 rupee notes.

Holders of the old currency were given an option to exchange or deposit them in bank accounts till December 30.

"Starting from November 8, 2016 various reports were called for from the banks based on different threshold of cash deposits made by different categories of persons. The reports were collated and analysed based on intelligence which has been available in the government data bases," the official said.

After an in-depth analysis, these reports have been disseminated to the Income Tax (I-T) department, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and other Law Enforcement Agencies.

Of the 60 lakh bank accounts that saw more than Rs 2 lakh ($2,931) of cash deposits, more than 6.80 lakh accounts have found matches in the existing database of various reports available with Government.

"These have been flagged while disseminating to I-T Department," he said adding the details of cash deposits totalling to more than Rs 10,700 crore (($1.5 billion) in different accounts in the North-Eastern states have also been disseminated.

Also, the I-T department and the ED have been provided with the details of cash deposits of more than Rs 16,000 crore ($2.3 billion) in different accounts of various kinds of cooperative banks.

The deposits of more than Rs 13,000 crore ($1.9 billion) in Regional Rural Banks have also been disseminated.

Besides, "cash deposits in terrorist-affected states have also been disseminated to the concerned law enforcement agencies and appropriate actions have been taken in such cases," he said.

The official said cash deposits of Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh per account, totalling to Rs 42,000 crore ($6 billion), are found to have common PAN, mobile number or address. The same would be looked into in detail by the Income-Tax department.

The government has got the deposits in Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) accounts analysed in detail and amounts of cash deposited under different threshold in different regions of the country and shared it with the I-T department.

"All cash deposits of more than one lakh rupees in cash under PMJDY accounts would also be looked into, based on the intelligence inputs," he said.

It has come to the notice of the government that more than Rs 25,000 crore ($3.6 billion) have been deposited in cash in re-activated dormant bank accounts and the details have also been shared with the Income Tax department.

Similarly, nearly Rs 80,000 crore ($11.7 billion) of repayment of loans in cash above a certain threshold post demonetisation has also been shared with law enforcement agencies.

"The Income Tax department has undertaken numerous actions, both intrusive and non-intrusive, based on the intelligence and in turn referred a number of cases for parallel investigation by the ED and CBI. The actions have unearthed non-filers, huge amounts of unaccounted income and shell companies," the official said without giving details.

The Income Tax department is also undertaking data analysis and comprehensive matching of the huge intelligence inputs with government databases to have a more effective and focused intrusive and non-intrusive actions in the coming days.

"It is already taking actions in cases where cash deposits above Rs 50,000 ($732) have been made without quoting of PAN," he said.

"The Income Tax department is using tools and its sources to identify each of these persons and is confident that there would a big expansion in the tax base and a quantum jump in direct tax collection," the official added.