The government, armed with information about Rs. 7 lakh crore deposits made by some 60 lakh individuals and companies, on Thursday warned of hauling up anyone unable to show legal means saying mere depositing in bank does not convert black money into white.
Top officials said that while the government will not hound any genuine depositor, it will not hesitate to litigate at any forum to catch any black money holder trying to convert illegal wealth into white.
Post-demonetisation, unaccounted wealth holders have an option to avail of a tax evasion amnesty scheme - 'Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana' - and pay their dues, failing which the government's long arms will surely catch them, they said.
"People are thinking that money has come into the banking system and it has all become white. This is not so. We have been getting daily information of all the deposits above Rs. 2 lakh, Rs. 5 lakh and the number and amount deposited and we have been collating this information with past information about the same person," a top government official told PTI.
"So, there is a huge scope for taxing now which has arisen and we do hope that people will understand that simply because they have put in bank it has become white that is not the case. We do hope that people themselves will come forward to participate in the scheme. But if they don't, they are not going to be happy," the official added.
The tax department is armed with systems to track those with multiple banks accounts as well as those who are depositing in accounts of others and the tax department will not leave anyone who is trying to evade taxes, he added.
"Even if you take deposits of more than Rs. 2 lakh, we have information about more than 60 lakh individuals, companies and institutions who have deposited more than Rs. 7 lakh crore of money. That's an astonishing number. We will be looking at it. For individuals the deposit figure would be Rs. 3-4 lakh crore."
"We do expect a lot of revenue buoyancy because of this either in this year or in subsequent years but nobody will go scot-free," the official said.
Following the demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes on November 8, the government has come out with PMGKY, under which people can disclose unaccounted cash and come clean by paying 50 per cent tax. The scheme provides for a mandatory deposit of 25 per cent of such income in the zero-interest bearing Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Deposit Scheme, 2016, for four years. PMGKY commenced on December 17 and will remain open for declarations and deposits up to March 31, 2017.