Sunday, May 26

Tax Department To Eye Social Media Accounts To Trace Black Money

The photos of your Singapore vacations trip or your brand new luxury car on Instagram or Facebook may lead the tax department on your doorstep if you’re evasing tax or hold black money. The tax department from next month will begin amassing virtual information to trace such frauds.

Project Insight‘, likely to be launched next month, will use big data analytics to match information from social media sites to deduce mismatches between spending pattern and income declaration.

The mismatches in income declarations and spending patterns will be analyzed to trace tax evasions and black money. In such matter, the government has also made linking of PAN with Aadhaar mandatory to get a transparent view of a person’s income and assets.

The tax department had last year signed a pact with L&T Infotech for implementation of Project Insight, which is designed to strengthen the non-intrusive information driven approach for improving tax compliance.

“Currently beta testing is on and the integrated platform for Project Insight should be launched by next month,” the official told PTI.

Under this ‘Project Insight’, the income tax department will undergo data mining, collection, collation and processing of such information for effective risk management with a view to widen and deepen the tax base.

It will help the taxmen monitor high-value transactions, and curb the circulation of black money. This is part of the steps the government has taken to unearth and tax undeclared or illegal wealth.



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The steps include the launch of ‘Operation Clean Money‘ after demonetization of old higher denomination currency for collection, collation and analysis of information on cash transactions, extensive use of information technology and data analytics tools for identification of high-risk cases, expeditious e-verification of suspect cases and enforcement actions.

The information technology-based Project Insight will strengthen the information driven approach for improving tax compliance, the official said.

The new technical infrastructure will also be leveraged for implementation of Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and Common Reporting Standard (CRS).

The project will use technology to allow the government collate databases of IT returns, IT forms, TDS/TCS statements and Statement of Financial Transactions received from financial institutions.

As part of Project Insight, a new Compliance Management Centralised Processing Centre (CMCPC) would also be set up for handling preliminary verification, campaign management, generation of bulk letters/notices and follow-up.


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