Saturday, Nov 22, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
Starting from the next financial year, the system of Annual Information Return would become operational, through which the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) would be able to "capture" all high-value transactions in the country. CBDT is confident that the system will be effective because the onus of filing the information return would not be on the person who is undertaking the transaction; blowing the whistle would be the responsibility of the banks, motor vehicle dealers, property registration authorities, financial institutions, hotels, hospitals, schools, jewellery shops and other institutions such as the Telephone Department and cellular operators, who would pass on information to the Government about any high-value transaction.
According to senior officers of the CBDT, the monetary limits, which would qualify as "high-value transactions'' have not yet been decided. But it would differ for different types of transactions. For instance, a deposit of Rs. 1 lakh in a bank account could qualify for reporting, while in the case of a telephone bill, one exceeding Rs. 25,000 could be the qualifying mark.
To keep this information secure, the CBDT intends the reporting to be done on-line to the National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) with tracking facilities for the CBDT. The NSDL currently holds some Rs. 8,00,000 crores worth of securities on behalf of the people and has the expertise to handle the new information inflow, the CBDT officials said.
Though the new scheme is to become operational from the next financial year, the reporting agencies would have to report all "high-value" transactions undertaken in the 2003-04 fiscal year.
So effectively, this year's transactions would be under the scanner.
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