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CBDT Chairman says over six times more cash seized during search operations this year than last

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CBDT Chairman says over six times more cash seized during search operations this year than last

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In an exclusive interview with CNBC-TV18, Nitin Gupta, Chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes, talks about tax collections, the future of taxation, the recent enforcement actions taken against pharmacy companies and more

Central Board of Direct Taxes Chairman Nitin Gupta has revealed that the body undertook enforcement actions and search and seizure operations on 33 percent more groups till July 31, this year than last. And this has led to more cash seizures as well — to be precise a 525 percent jump.

"Cash seizures have been to the tune of around Rs 250 crore, as against Rs 40 crore during the same period last year," Gupta told CNBC-TV18 in an exclusive interaction. He said since actions were taken based on credible information, they were getting concrete results regarding curbing and unearthing tax evasion.
Gupta also spoke about tax collections, the future of taxation, the recent enforcement actions taken against pharmacy companies and more. Excerpts here:
On tax collections
Nitin Gupta: Against the Budget target of Rs 14.20 lakh crore, we have achieved collections of more than Rs 4.75 lakh crore, which is a growth of around 33 percent. Gross collections are still better, with a growth of 38-39 percent. Despite more refund output, which we want to be enhanced, the collections are very robust and are growing at 33 percent.
Corporate tax and personal income tax collections are robust but a clear picture will emerge once we get the second instalment of advance tax, due on September 15. A better analysis can be made around September 20.
On the future of taxation
Nitin Gupta: We have been working on the idea that the taxpayers are given the convenience. And this is the objective behind all the actions we have taken.
Under the Finance Act 2022, a new provision will be operationalised very soon, which is the e-verification scheme. This is meant for taxpayers who have not disclosed their correct state of affairs. Be it income from various sources, under-reporting, or reporting their income at a lower rate of income. If they want to update their last two years' returns based on such information, they can do so easily.
If taxpayers have committed a mistake or hidden any transactions vis-a-vis their annual information statements (AIS) of the last two years, they can put the correct data on the self-declaration window on the portal. This will then be put for verification with the right reporting entity to ensure that the corrected data is updated by the taxpayers.
If the taxpayer's data is correct, s/he will be given a chance to update their return with an additional payment of 25 percent or 50 percent, depending on the provisions. In the future, this will help taxpayers avoid legal or enforcement actions. It will benefit the taxpayer and the department by reducing litigation.
On plans to reduce the tax burden for the middle class
Nitin Gupta: Simplification of taxation policy and rates is a continuous process. Let us see how things shape up during the budgetary exercise, how the discussions take place and what the view is that the government has.
We have constantly been working on the ease to be given to taxpayers. We have been working on the fact that taxpayers are the centrepiece, and with this perspective, the idea is that honest taxpayers are facilitated, and tax evasion is curbed.
On recent enforcement actions against pharma companies
Nitin Gupta: Enforcement is an action to understand and curb tax evasion.  It also helps us understand how we can modify our tax laws to tighten the loose ends of tax policy.  It is a continuous exercise. The message it sends to taxpayers is that they should be honest taxpayers and declare their genuine income.
The recent trend is that we mount action based on credible information.
We mounted action by noting the entire value chain, where there could be a series of tax evasion trails. For example, we have taken action against pharma companies, path laboratories, hospitals, and pharma company distributors.
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