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Used cash in hospitals, party halls? I-T dept will target you

(This story originally appeared in on Aug 20, 2022)

NEW DELHI: With an eye on detecting cash transactions, the income tax department has set its sights on hospitals (as several are not collecting PAN from patients), banquet halls and certain professionals.

Besides, smaller towns such as Alwar, Kota and Jalna are seeing recovery of large amounts of cash, officials told TOI. The recent searches on steel bar manufacturers resulted in a huge haul of cash and jewellery from Mumbai, Aurangabad, Nashik and Jalna.

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In several small towns, the I-T department has little footprint, which has emboldened evaders, who often believe that they may be able to evade the taxman’s radar, officials said. For the current financial year, there is a special emphasis on cash transactions and several businesses where transactions are still taking place in cash and are under the scanner.

In case of hospitals, officials said, there are several instances of PAN not beingcollected, despite the law mandating it. While the department is pushing for it and is also planning action against errant hospitals, it is using the data available with health service providers to track patients, who had paid large sums in private healthcare facilities. On their part, hospitals have argued that it is not always possible to collect the PAN as patients often come to the emergency section.

Similarly, action has been taken against some of the banquet halls in recentmonths, although the transactions are always not reflected in their books. In certain segments, such as high-end watches, the tax department has found that transactions are above board, with the retailers maintaining a detailed list of buyers and their details.

Officials also said that certain professionals are under the lens and wherever there is concrete evidence, the tax authorities are moving against them. For instance, there have been some actions against certain architects in recent months, they said, adding that it was not as if all professionals were being investigated.

The tax department believes that it has detailed data available, which it is tapping into. For instance, the Annual Information Statement is throwing up a large volume of information, which is being processed and wherever the data is not being reflected in returns, the same is being analysed. Besides, the linkage with GST is also resulting in either income taxpayers coming clean or facing action.


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