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Tax Dept Wants to Count your Cash

The department may also seek the details of vehicles, aircraft, yachts and boats owned by individuals

Now, keeping cash more than Rs 50,000 with you may draw the attention of the Income Tax Department. In the new forms for income tax returns, the government may ask non-salaried individuals to declare in-hand cash of more than Rs 50,000.

The department may also seek the details of vehicles, aircraft, yachts and boats owned by individuals. Those buying gold may have to provide the details of jewellery, bullion or articles made of gold or precious metals.

In the new forms, art lovers may be asked to provide the details of paintings, drawings, sculpture or archeological collections.

It is likely the department would also seek the details of land or buildings, deposits, insurance and shares in one's name, as well as loans and advances. After providing the details of all assets on acquisition costs, taxpayers would also have to declare liabilities in a separate column.

Officials said this year, concealment of facts in the returns (to be notified soon), wouldn't be easy, as the department would compare the details with the information provided to it by third-party sources. "The forms are for non-salaried taxpayers, particularly high net worth individuals, many of whom are not declaring their true incomes. Most assets we are asking taxpayers to declare come under the definition of wealth' in the Wealth Tax Act," said a finance ministry official, requesting anonymity.

For 2012-13, wealth tax collections are expected at Rs 866 crore, against the Budget estimate of Rs 1,244 crore. For 2013-14, the finance ministry has estimated the collections at Rs 950 crore.

Individual taxpayers with income other than salaries file ITR3 and ITR4.

Last year, the government had said reporting assets and liabilities was mandatory for individuals with foreign assets. The disclosure for foreign assets was introduced in ITR2, ITR3 and ITR4 - taxpayers had to declare whether he/she "any asset (including financial interest in any entity) located outside India or signing authority in any account located outside India".

Individuals with foreign assets cannot file ITR1, which is used by individuals with income from salary/pension, a house and income from other sources.

Business Standard, 04-04-2013

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