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I-T dept sends 100,000 notices over under-reported income

income tax notice

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Monday said that the income tax department has sent one lakh notices in cases where assesses have either not declared income or have underreported income.

Without giving specific details, she said that all these cases are for old returns filed 4-6 years earlier and the department will complete these notices by March 31, 2024.

"One lakh notices are sent where information is available that income is more than what you have filed, or there are reasons to believe that income has been understated or where they have not filed it and information is there that they should have filed it," Sitharaman said.

She was speaking at the 164th Income Tax Day celebrations.

"I want to convey that these are not just being thoughtlessly sent and I have been assured by the chairman CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes) that by March 2024, this entire block will be cleared," Sitharaman added.

Officials later confirmed that the notices were sent during the last 14 months and mostly to people with annual income over ₹50 lakh.

Under income tax law, officers can reopen past assessments of up to six years.

Sitharaman further said that the CBDT in May 2023 completed a scrutiny assessment of the 55,000 notices which they had sent pursuant to a Supreme Court judgement.

"The board today is not sitting over notices which have been issued and it is not a place where people are gaming the system; there is a clear-cut approach," Sitharaman added.

She added that earlier taxpayers had to keep records for 10 years but now tax assessment cannot be opened after six years.

"In 4th, 5th and 6th year, they (tax officers) reopen the assessment only under certain situations," Sitharaman said.

FM said technology is the answer to most problems and it has helped in catching tax evasion but also is helping in assuring taxpayers a transparent, objective and friendly income tax regime.

CBDT Chairman Nitin Gupta added 7% of the assessees who filed income tax returns this year are new taxpayers and their number is expected to go up further by July 31.

He also added that the income tax department is trying to process all the income tax returns (ITRs) by early next month, and the refunds will be subsequently issued.


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