The Income Tax Department has gotten tough on tax evaders by increasing the prosecutions launched. The Department witnessed a whopping 127 per cent increase in prosecutions in 2013-14, compared to the previous year. The number of prosecutions launched during FY14 was 641.
In a meeting with the top brass of the Income Tax Criminal Investigation Wing, Finance Minister Arun Jaitely was informed that the success rate in convictions on prosecutions was 90.6 per cent.
The Income Tax Department also conducted search and seizure operations and led to seizure of assets worth Rs 807.84 crore and admission of undisclosed income of Rs 10,791.63 crore. An undisclosed number of property attachments were also done.
In the recent budget speech, the Finance Minister had informed the house that the tax department would employ more technology for investigation and the same was reiterated and the officers were ordered to use innovative and non-intrusive methods of investigation. He also impressed upon the need for skill development and upgradation to keep pace with newer and innovative methodologies adopted to evade taxes.
The Finance Minister also assured the department of posting Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officers in Embassies by establishing Tax Oversees Units by designating the officers as First Secretary to tackle tax evasion abroad.
The Finance Minister also stressed upon the need for strong minded and talented civil servants and observed that the quality of representation of cases of income tax department before various courts of law needs to be improved. He stressed upon devising mechanisms to attract the best talent and build expertise in specialised subject of taxation,” the statement quoted him as saying.
Jaitley also impressed upon the need for imparting training to middle-level officers in order to improve their forensic skills to successfully deal with new tools of technology being used for tax evasions. He called for taking necessary steps to adopt the emerging methods of capacity building.
According to the statement, Jaitley emphasised that the department should equip itself with the state of the art technological skills, including in the area of analysis of digital evidence.
He was addressing a meeting of the Director Generals of Income Tax (Investigation and Intelligence & Criminal Investigation) and Chief Commissioners of Income-Tax (Central Range).