Indian tax officers track black money through social media
India Gazette - Monday 11th September, 2017
India is likely to launch ‘Project Insight’ next month
The project will use big data analytics to match information from social media sites
It will then deduce mismatches between spending pattern and income declaration
NEW DELHI, India - As India’s tax officials look at cracking down on black money - they are now planning on launching a unique project, which will use social media to trace information.
The country’s tax department is said to be planning to begin amassing virtual information to trace black money, as part of ‘Project Insight’ that is likely to be launched in October this year.
The project will reportedly use big data analytics to match information from social media sites to deduce mismatches between spending pattern and income declaration and trace tax evasions and black money.
Officials have revealed that the government has also made linking of PAN with Aadhaar mandatory to get a 360 degree view of a person's income and assets.
Last year, the tax department signed a pact with L&T Infotech for implementation of Project Insight - designed to strengthen the non-intrusive information driven approach for improving tax compliance.
An official was quoted as saying in a report in the Indian news agency, PTI, “Currently beta testing is on and the integrated platform for Project Insight should be launched by next month.”
Officials have said that Project Insight has been initiated by the income tax department for data mining, collection, collation and processing of such information for effective risk management with a view to widen and deepen the tax base.
The department believes that it will help the taxmen monitor high value transactions, and curb the circulation of black money.
It said that this is part of the steps the government has taken to unearth and tax undeclared or illegal wealth.
Officials have said that the steps include the launch of 'Operation Clean Money' after demonetisation 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 official further noted that the information technology-based Project Insight will strengthen the information driven approach for improving tax compliance.
Further, the new technical infrastructure will also be leveraged for implementation of Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and Common Reporting Standard (CRS).
Further, officials are hoping that 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.
Further, the department has said that it will also set up a new Compliance Management Centralised Processing Centre (CMCPC) that will aim at handling preliminary verification, campaign management, generation of bulk letters/notices and follow-up.
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