BENGALURU: Over the past six financial years, the non-PAN (Permanent Account Number) transactions in Karnataka-Goa region is valued at an astounding Rs 2.6 lakh crore.
The information has been collected by the Income Tax Department, following a methodical data mining process.
Armed with the information, the department is now sending notices to about two lakh addresses, which were used for the identified high-value transactions. It is considering property transaction above Rs 30 lakh, or cash deposit worth Rs 10 lakh, as high-value transaction.
As per Section 285 (b)(a) of the Income Tax Act, the department receives Annual Information Returns from offices of sub-registrars, banks, credit card companies and others.
With digitisation of bank transactions, the department was able to monitor and mine data for high-value transactions before December 2015.
Since mentioning PAN is mandatory for all transactions, it identified transactions where PAN was not quoted.
Though over 30 lakh such transactions were identified, it decided to concentrate on high-value transactions, numbering around two lakh.
According to department sources, the number of people behind the transactions were about 25,000. That is, about eight high-value non-PAN transactions have been made by each individual, approximately.
Such transactions are being considered suspicious by the department, which is ascertaining whether PAN details were deliberately withheld to avoid paying taxes.
As it is mandatory for banks to enter PAN for transactions above a specific amount, cooperative banks -- numbering in their thousands in the state -- have become hot destinations for large cash deposits.
The data mining process revealed that about 38,000 individuals were found to have had 8.28 lakh multiple transactions, depositing cash valued at Rs 13,700 crore.
Since many cooperative banks have multiple branches, these individuals deposit money in different branches multiple times. The value of each transaction will be low enough, so that providing PAN will not be mandatory.
Ravichander R, Director of Income Tax, Intelligence and Criminal Investigation, said recently that SCDCC Bank from Dakshina Kannada suppressed 4,700 transactions valued at Rs 3,530 crore. Such violations might be committed by other co-operatives too, he had said.