The income tax department is now planning to use the data generated through Goods and Services Tax (GST) to check tax evasion.
According to finance ministry officials, the I-T department is deliberating over using GST data of the taxpayers, who have taken high input tax credit (ITC) but their ITC claims do not match with their personal income tax return submitted to the department. The department is also looking at using the GST information to identify the cases of suppression of personal income or tax evasion by showing lower GST turnover or taking refunds from GST fraudulently.
The department has directed its officers to put forward special efforts to identify and book tax evaders through data analytics and information sharing and share the findings with GST officials to initiate stern actions against wilful tax evaders or those using fake invoices and inflated or fake e-way bills.
The department is on a campaign mode to recover past arrears as it tries to achieve the direct tax collection target of Rs 13.5 lakh crore factoring in the reduction in the corporate tax, which may cost Rs 1.45 lakh crore. Achieving this target is an uphill task as it requires direct tax collections to grow by 21 per cent from Rs 11.38 lakh crore in the previous year.
According to the action plan by the tax department for 2019-20, the arrear demand has increased from Rs 11.20 lakh crore as on April 1, 2018 to Rs 12.78 crore as on March 31, 2019. The action plan has set a target of reducing arrear demand by 40 per cent in the current financial year.
The department has a target of adding 1.30 crore new filers in the current financial year. Last year, it had added around 1.10 crore new filers.