Income tax scanner on deposits

The government has asked banks and post offices to report to the I-T department all deposits above Rs 2.50 lakh in savings accounts and more than Rs 12.50 lakh in current accounts made during the 50-day window provided to tender the scrapped 500- and 1000-rupee notes.

According to a notification issued today, banks, co-operative banks and post offices will have to report to the tax department cash deposits exceeding Rs 50,000 in a single day or more than Rs 2.5 lakh in aggregate during the period between November 9 and December 30, 2016.


These entities will also have to report aggregate cash deposits of Rs 12.50 lakh or more in one or more current account of a person. The finance ministry has notified the amended rule for filing of annual information return (AIR) report by banks, cooperative banks and post offices on account of aggregate cash deposits in one or more current account of a person.

Banks and post offices now have to file a statement of financial transaction in respect of these transactions on or before January 31, 2017, the notification said. Earlier, they were required to report to the income tax department only when cash deposits in an account exceeded Rs 10 lakh in one full year.

In view of apprehensions that a large amount of black money may be converted into white during the window provided till December 30, the revenue department has issued a fresh set of instructions. Tax department officers feel the 50-day window should not be misused and hence the need to keep a tab on such high value deposits.

Those depositing large amounts of unaccounted money will have to face the consequences under tax laws, which provide for a 30 per cent tax, 12 per cent interest and a 200 per cent penalty.

“The CBDT has brought a two-fold amendment casting a reporting responsibility on the taxpayer as well as the bank, thereby ensuring that banks don’t let go of the non-compliant taxpayers,” Nangia & Co managing partner Rakesh Nangia said.

Tax officials said honest citizens who want to tender their legal savings will not be harassed.

Soon after the 50-day window to deposit and exchange notes is over, the tax department will look into huge cash deposits and match them with the tax returns filed by the person in the previous years.

In cases of unexplained high cash deposits, the tax department will slap a hefty 200 per cent penalty even before the person files this year’s annual income tax returns so as to prevent them from converting black money into white.

The tax department’s lens are also on those people who are depositing cash up to Rs 2.50 lakh. “In case of any big mismatch we will also look into those accounts where deposits were up to Rs 2.50 lakh,” an official said.

The tax department is also collating data on the spurt in deposits in zero-balance Jan Dhan accounts and will slap a 200 per cent penalty on unexplained high value cash deposits.

Meanwhile, the RBI today asked banks to ensure customers submit a copy of PAN card for any cash deposit exceeding Rs 50,000, if it is not already seeded with the account, to ensure tax rule compliance.

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