I-T Dept Using Social Media To Track Benami Transactions
The taxman in India is a busy lot these days. According to media reports, large numbers of notices are being sent by the Income Tax (I-T) department in order to nab those involved in carrying out benami transactions. Among about 50,000 people who recently received notices from the department are non-resident Indians, who sold their immovable assets in India in the past couple of years. In some cases, the department has issued prosecutions notices. In case of a standard notice, an offender could get away by paying a penalty; in case of a prosecution notice, the punishment is stricter—the offender could be sent to jail, etc.
In a serious of measures launched to expand the income tax net in the country that included the sudden move to demonetise 80 per cent of the country’s active currency, the government has adopted a much stricter stance against tax evaders. This makes perfect sense in light of the fact that less than two per cent of India’s roaring 120-crore population pays income tax. Officials have been busy examining huge sets of data accumulated through different sources to see whether unlawful means have been used to evade taxes. Mind you, it is not only your income tax returns or credit history or purchase patterns that are being used by the taxman to check if you evaded taxes; your social media posts are also being tracked.
If you used the social media to impress your “friends” anyhow without giving much thought to your privacy, this is high time you exercised caution. In case of a mismatch between what you tell your friends on the social media and what you tell the taxman while filing your ITR, you may be the next one to receive a notice from the department.
Those who have been clean about the deal, however, have no reason to worry. If you are keen to share the news of your home purchase, you might like to consider these tips. In case you have yet to materialize your home-buying plans, let Facebook Envy not shatter them.