Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said that undisclosed income of Rs 5,400 crore has been detected and 400 cases were referred to the CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the aftermath of demonetisation. He was addressing the second meeting of the consultative committee attached to the finance ministry on ‘Initiatives of Income Tax department.’ “After the intense follow-up of demonetisation data from 9th November 2016 to 10th January, 2017, about 1100 searches were made resulting into seizure of Rs 610 crore including cash of Rs 513 crore,” the finance ministry said in a statement. Additionally, the minister also listed growth in direct tax revenue, tax cut in the lowest income slab and reduction of corporate taxes to 25% for companies with turnover of up to Rs 50 crore as examples of income tax department bringing efficiency, transparency and fairness in tax administration. The finance minister said that net direct tax collections up to September 18 in FY18 rose to Rs 3.7 lakh crore with a growth of 15.7%. He added that the number of tax payers increased significantly to 6.26 crore in FY 17 from 4.72 crore during the last FY 13.
Jaitley also pointed to introduction of a single page ITR-1 (SAHAJ) form for tax payers having income up to Rs 50 lakhs, and reduction of tax rate for individuals having income of Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh was reduced from 10% to 5%, which is one among the lowest in the world.
“Arun Jaitley said that corporate tax was reduced to 25% for companies with turn-over up to Rs 50 crore thereby covering almost 96% of the companies. The new manufacturing companies incorporated on or after March 1, 2016 were given an option to be taxed at 25% without any deduction. The MAT credit was allowed to be carry forward up to 15 years instead of 10 years as part of procedural reforms,” finance ministry said in a statement.
Further, Jaitley said that in order to promote less cash economy and digital transactions, the the IT department took various initiatives including penalty for cash receipt of Rs 2 lakh or more, limit of cash donation to charitable trusts reduced from Rs 10,000 to Rs 2000 and barred cash donations of Rs 2000 and above to political parties.