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Prosecution complaints have surged: I-T dept

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

The Income Tax department on today reported that it has substantially increased criminal prosecution proceedings initiated in a large number of cases of tax offenders and evaders.

During FY 2017-18 (up to the end of November 2017), the department filed prosecution complaints for various offences in 2,225 cases compared to 784 for the corresponding period in the immediately preceding year, marking an increase of 184 per cent, according to a release issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).

Besides, 48 persons were convicted for various offences during the period as compared to 13 convictions for the corresponding eight months of 2016, marking an increase of 269 per cent, a finance ministry statement said.

Prosecutions have been initiated for various offences including wilful attempt to evade tax or payment of any tax, wilful failure in filing returns of income, false statement in verification and failure to deposit the tax deducted/collected at source or inordinate delay in doing so, among other defaults.

The cases where courts have ruled in favour of the I-T department include that of a Dehradun court convicting a defaulter for holding undisclosed foreign bank account and sentencing him to two years imprisonment for willful attempt to evade tax and two years imprisonment for false statement in verification along with monetary penalty for each default.

The department has given examples of other cases as well. In Bengaluru, the managing director of a company engaged in infrastructure projects was found guilty of non-deposit of TDS of over Rs 60 lakh (within the prescribed time), and was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of three months along with imposition of fine.