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Rediff.com  » Business » Benami property transactions on I-T radar

Benami property transactions on I-T radar

By Shrimi Choudhury
Last updated on: December 31, 2016 10:30 IST
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Income tax officials have directed property dealers and registration authorities to prepare a list of top property deals that have taken place in the last three years.
Shrimi Choudhary reports.

A scene from Mumbai. Image published only for representational purposes.

 

The income tax department is working on a 'property index card' which features high-value property transactions of the last three years.

Tax authorities have also outlined stringent actions against those who deposited their unaccounted old currency in someone else's bank account.

Income tax officials are believed to have directed property dealers and registration authorities to prepare the list of top property deals that have taken place in the last three years in descending order of valuation, said an I-T official.

"Tackling the benami properties and transaction is one of our key agenda. On the basis of information related to property transaction and bank deposits, we have decided to probe such cases under the newly enforced Benami Transactions Act," said the official.

The Act enables violators to be prosecuted and sentenced to a rigorous jail term of a maximum seven years.

"The benami amount in the bank account deposited post-demonetisation will be confiscated and the violator will also be liable to a fine which extends up to 25% of the fair market value of the benami property," the official said.

Sources close to the development said the action plan has been prepared by the income tax department under the supervision of the Central Board of Direct Taxes in an internal meetings held just before the demonetisation drive came to an end.

This was the first meetings of the tax officials of across country since November 8.

Based on inputs received from financial intelligence unit and banking channels, the tax department have decided to conduct surveys and searches in tranches.

Sources said initially taxmen will go after the individuals who have deposited more than Rs 50 crore (Rs 500 million) since November 1.

In a meeting with I-T officials, the CBDT is learnt to have asked senior officials to disseminate the information of its field officers across the country which they have received from various sources.

During the meeting, the I-T officials were told to co-ordinate with the Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate to widen their probe.

So far the tax department has sent over 5,000 notices to various entities including car dealers, charitable trusts to show their account balances and to those who have deposited huge cash in their bank accounts.

Recent data shows that over Rs 4,000 crore (Rs 40 billion) of undisclosed income has been detected while new notes worth Rs 105 crore (Rs 1.05 billion) have been seized as part of its operations against black money hoarders post demonetisation of two high-value currencies by the government.

Sources said the department had carried out a total of over 1,000 searches and surveys under the provisions of the I-T Act. These are mainly on bullion traders, banks, hawala dealers, money operators etc.

IMAGE: A scene from Mumbai. Image published only for representational purposes.

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Shrimi Choudhury in Mumbai
Source: source
 

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