Tightening its noose on those who do not pay taxes, the Income Tax Department has started sending letters around 12- lakh assessees who are high spenders but do not file returns, a top finance ministry official said.
''The I-T department has started follow up of around 12-lakh assessees who have not filed their returns despite being high spenders,'' the official told PTI.
The department had earlier issued letters to 1.75-lakh high priority assessees for not filing tax returns.
Finance minister P Chidambaram had met top I-T officials on Tuesday to discuss ways to augment revenue collection and widen the tax base.
The tax department has prepared a list of non-filers based on their information records.
The department has set up a compliance management cell to monitor return filing and tax payment of the target segment.
The 1.75-lakh letters which were sent earlier, contained the summary of the information of financial transaction(s) along with a customised response sheet.
The finance ministry officials had verified the record of annual information return (AIR), Central Information Branch (CIB) and TDS/TCS returns.
Besides, they had also verified data available with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).
These letters were a part of the exercise to augment revenue undertaken by Chidambaram after he assumed charge of the Finance Ministry in August last year. Many assessees have started filing returns after receiving letters from the tax department.
The government plans to collect over Rs 6.68 lakh crore from direct taxes in the current fiscal, up from Rs 5.65 lakh crore in the previous fiscal.
Indian Express, New Delhi, 28-06-2013