Income Tax Department ‘names and shames’ untraceable defaulters

They are said to be ‘not traceable’ by the Government and some of them seem to have no assets for the Government to take over in a bid to recover tax arrears



Photo by Rajkumar/Mint via Getty Images
Photo by Rajkumar/Mint via Getty Images
user

NH Business Bureau

The Income Tax department on Saturday made public a list of 29 defaulters owing ₹448.02 crore in taxes as part of its strategy to name and shame large defaulters.

Significantly, as many as 26 of the entities are said to be ‘untraceable’ including the highest defaulter in the list, Irfan Ahmed of Lucknow, who is said to owe a whopping ₹257.44 crore by way of income tax.


His address provided by the department is 177/62, Gwynne Road, Aminabad. But next to the column that explains that dues relate to assessment years 2005-06 to 2008-09, the department acknowledges in capital letters, “Assessee not traceable”.


With 26 of the 29 assessees ‘not traceable’ and with all the assessments dating back to 1983-84 and till 2012-13, it is not clear who the department wants to shame.


Curiously, the advertisement admits that the address, business, shareholding and management of the entities may have changed. In fact in at least four of these 29 cases, the department also acknowledges that there is either ‘No Asset’ or ‘Inadequate Assets’ for recovery. Once again it is not clear how the tax due was assessed.


Barinderpal Singh and Jatinderpal Singh from village Jugiana (Ludhiana) are similarly not traceable and there are no assets for recovery either. But the two together are shown to owe the department ₹15 crore in taxes.

With 26 of the 29 assessees ‘not traceable’ and with all the assessments dating back to 1983-84 and till 2012-13, it is not clear who the department wants to shame.

In advertisements issued in leading national dailies, the department brought out the list of defaulters of income tax and corporate tax even as it advised them to pay their "tax arrears immediately".


The department has carried out this exercise earlier too and had named at least 67 such entities which have huge tax liabilities on them but are either untraceable or have shown no assets for recovery.


A senior official told PTI that the public list, with details of the individual or entity like their PAN card number, last known address and assessment range and defaulted amount of tax, is also aimed to make people at large aware so that they inform the department in case they have any information about the defaulters.


The Central Board of Direct Taxes, the policy-making body of the I-T department, had a few years back adopted the strategy of bringing out the names of chronic defaulters in public domain and had also begun posting these names on its official website.

With PTI inputs.

For all the latest India News, Follow India Section.

next