• More than half have not filed responses or IT Returns
• Notices sent to depositors who made large deposits post 2016 demonetisation
• To avail exemption, it has to be established that income is from activities within scheduled area
DIMAPUR, DECEMBER 2 (MExN): The Income Tax Department today informed that tax notices have been issued to over a thousand depositors in Nagaland who made large cash deposits during the demonetisation period (November-December 2016).
However, a press release from the Additional Commissioner of Income Tax, Dimapur Range said that no Income Tax Return (ITR) or reply has been filed by more than half of such persons till date.
The Income Tax Department under the Ministry of Finance, Government of India had initiated the project ‘Operation Clean Money’ (OCM) post the demonetization period to curb the circulation of Black Money.
Subsequently, notices were issued to persons who had made large cash deposits during the period of demonetisation in November-December, 2016 but have not filed Income Tax Returns (ITR). These persons were required to file ITR, or reply to the notice stating why they have not filed ITR and give source of cash deposits with documentary evidence.
The department informed that individuals belonging to schedule tribes in the state of Nagaland are exempt from tax on income from scheduled area under section 10(26), of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
However, to get exemption, depositors have to establish with supporting evidence that income is from activities within the scheduled area.
The department said that in the event of continued failure to comply with the notice well before December 31, 2019, the department would be left with no option but to treat the entire cash deposits as unexplained income and raise tax demand.
“In such cases, bank accounts and other assets, movable or immovable, could be attached to recover tax. Further, heavy penalty may be imposed and prosecution proceedings initiated,” it added.
In order to avoid such consequences, the department asked cash-depositors from Nagaland who have received notices from the Income Tax Department to immediately comply without any further delay.
“All they have to do is simply answer all the questions in the annexure attached to the notice and furnish evidences in support of their claim,” it added.
It meanwhile informed that the Income Tax Department has also tried to reach out to the depositors through electronic media like SMS, Whatsapp etc. on the mobile number available on record and also through the Deputy Commissioners/Police Commissioners of the respective districts of Nagaland to facilitate response.
Seeking cooperation from the recipients of the notices to conclude the pending proceedings, the department notified that any information/query may be sought by contacting the local office at Aayakar Bhawan, New Colony, Purana Bazaar, Dimapur.