BENGALURU: Candidates looking to contest the upcoming elections will have to be very careful while declaring their assets to the Election Commission, as the Income Tax department will be taking a close look at their nomination affidavits, and comparing them to the IT returns filed on record. On Saturday, B R Balakrishnan, Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (PCCIT), Karnataka and Goa region, said that the department was developing its own intelligence to identify the movement of cash and other articles used to influence the electorate.
“Till date, three searches have been conducted, resulting in a total cash seizure of Rs 2.37 crore. In one case, which was from our own intelligence, Rs 1.67 crore in cash was seized,” he said in a statement.
The department also has a toll-free number, landline, fax, mobile and WhatsApp number where citizens can send tips for them to follow. “District teams are on duty 24x7 and control rooms have been set up in Bengaluru and Panjim and are working round the clock. Five regional centres — in Bengaluru, Mangaluru, Hubballi, Kalaburagi and Panjim are headed by Additional Directors of Income Tax for supervision,” he said.
Benami prohibition units strike gold
On the newly set up Benami Prohibition Units, Balakrishnan said, “These units in Bengaluru and Panjim have made 235 provisional attachments of properties worth Rs 389.4 crore and more than 200 acres of land. Till date, they have been successful in identifying 92 benamidars and 36 beneficial owners. A few politically exposed persons were found to be in possession of benami assets and properties, most of which were purchased in cash.”
In financial year 2017-18, the unit uncovered Rs 12,268 crore, of which Rs 5,339 crore was admitted by taxpayers. “The total seizure made last year was Rs 78 crore. This year, till end of February 2019, the directorate has conducted 144 searches, resulting in admission of undisclosed income of Rs 4,711 crore and detection of undisclosed income of Rs 7,098 crore with total seizure of around Rs 175 crore,” the statement said.