Aiming to give more teeth to the investigation against black money, Income Tax Department hit by staff shortage today said it has sought an additional 22,000 staff to strengthen its various operations. Besides, the tax department will redeploy its existing manpower towards intelligence gathering, investigations and prosecutions.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) is restructuring its organisational structure with a view to focusing on scrutiny of high value tax cases, a senior Finance Ministry official said.

“We have asked for an additional 22,000 staff in different cadre to strengthen our investigations and intelligence,” the official said.

Currently, the CBDT is operating with a staff of about 47,000 against the sanction of 58,000.

As such, with computerisation and increasing trend of e-filing of I-T returns, staff engaged in scrutiny of forms and other related task, will have time to focus on investigations and intelligence gathering and help in tracking blackmoney.

“Due to redeployment, now our officers will be getting more time for scrutiny of high profile cases,” sources added.

In India, on an average one IT official scrutinises 150-200 returns against international best practices of 60 cases.

Earlier, the scrutiny of I-T returns was done on basis of proposals by assessing officers. However, with computerisation in the last 10-years, manual selection has been replaced by Computer-Assisted Scrutiny System (CASS).

“The I-T department is witnessing an increasing number of new methods used by various entities to hide their income, generate blackmoney and even launder funds to foreign location”, the official said adding “that is why we need more people, including officers”.

Expressing serious concern over the generation and circulation of black money, the government has adopted a five-fold strategy to deal with the menace, including entering into treaties with tax havens.

The Finance Ministry has also commissioned a study on unaccounted income and wealth held within and outside the country to suggest methods to tax and repatriate the illicit money.

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