Don’t file incorrect returns, warns I-T department
NEW DELHI: The income tax (I-T) department has cautioned salaried taxpayers against claiming incorrect deductions or under-reporting income after it stumbled upon evidence of such malpractices in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Ludhiana.
The advisory, issued on Monday, said such offences are punishable under various provisions of the Income Tax Act and warned people against using the services of “unscrupulous intermediaries”. It also threatened to refer such cases to other enforcement agencies for further action.
Senior taxmen said the “cautionary advisory” was issued as surveys in the three cities pointed to some salaried employees claiming tax benefits for house property even when they did not own any property. Similarly, the survey threw up instances of some people claiming deductions for donations or contributions to certain institutions when none were actually made.
The use of technology and matching of such claims has been helping the authorities track those evading taxes or making wrong claims.
In fact, in Bangalore alarm bells went off after it was noticed that some employees from leading technology companies had made wrong claims in their tax returns through a man who posed as a chartered accountant. “We have referred some cases from Bangalore and Ludhiana to CBI and the advisory has been issued to ensure that young boys and girls do not resort to such malpractices or fall prey to unscrupulous elements,” said a senior officer, who did not wish to be identified.
Another officer said that too much should not be read into the advisory as it was like those issued by the railways or the passport office advising applicants to follow the rules and avoid using the services of touts.
This year, the government has already asked for details such as allowances that are not exempt from tax, value of perks and profits in lieu of salary in the new return forms. Pointing to the automated centralised processing centre (CPC) in Bangalore, the advisory said: “The I-T department has an extensive risk analysis system aimed at identifying persons who are noncompliant and aim to subvert the trust based system envisioned while processing of ITRs (returns) at CPC Bangalore.
In all such cases of high risk, the department may examine and verify the details submitted by taxpayers in their ITR, subsequent to processing of returns in CPC. If the Department notices any fraudulent claims in the returns, such tax payers may be punishable under various provisions of the Income Tax Act. This may also delay issuance of refunds in such cases.”