The Government in August told the Supreme Court it detected 'illicit’ transfers of Rs 33,784 crore ($7.5 billion) on profits and Rs 15,000 crore ($3.3 bn) of undisclosed income of Indians in the last 18 months. It’s not clear what is being done about this but presumably this all links to the Income Tax Overseas Units in 9 countries where officials are searching high and low for funds that have been stashed away.

The IT Department also pointed out how it has an Integrated Taxpayer Data Management System (ITDMS) to electronically collect information from various sources such as Tax Deduction at Source, Electronic Filing of Returns, Annual Information Returns, Central Information Branches (CIB) and so on.

Money Chases Money

Moreover, the Department has set up a Computer Assisted Selection of Scrutiny (CASS) wherein returns are selected for scrutiny on the basis of comparison of information available and declarations made by the assesses in their return of incomes - don't forget the number who actually file.

Of course, our focus is not revenue. But this is a lot of investment going in to identify who is ducking taxes. We are not quite sure we are seeing the returns yet and wonder why. And a lot of it looks like just thrashing around. And by the way, in June, the Central Board of Direct Taxes set up a committee 'to examine and suggest ways’ to recover income tax demands classified under 'assesses not traceable’ and ‘no/inadequate assets for recovery’!!