The finance ministry today said intensive follow-up of data from non-filer monitoring system (NMS) led to filing of over 1.72 crore returns by persons identified, which yielded tax of Rs 26,425 crore. The Income-Tax Department (ITD) has implement the NMS which assimilates and analyses in-house information as well as transactional data received from third parties to identify such persons or entities who have undertaken high value transactions but have not filed their return. “Due to constant and intensive follow-up of NMS data, more than 1.72 crore returns have been filed by the persons in different NMS cycles and self assessment tax of about Rs 26,425 has been paid by them till December, 2017,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. Replying to another tax related question, Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla said the ITD has launched Aaykar Setu, an online platform for facilitating access to various key services provided by the department. Replying to queries on ‘Paradise papers’, Shukla said as investigation is at preliminary stage, “further inference/course of action depends upon outcome of investigation in respective cases”.
On November 6 last year and on subsequent dates, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), a Washington based organisation and their collaborating newspapers across the world, released what they called ‘Paradise Papers’, containing details of offshore entities. The entities were set up by two firms Appleby and Asiaciti spread across 19 tax havens/foreign jurisdictions.
Shukla said the ICIJ database on Paradise Papers does not contain any financial details, including the bank account information. “The investigations in Paradise papers are being carried out earnestly,” he said, adding that the outcome of investigations are dependent, inter alia, on responses from foreign jurisdictions and usefulness of information received. At present, he added no estimation of tax evasion has been arrived at.