An internal probe by the Income Tax department, to detect the occurrence of a spate of refund frauds, has found that swindlers have hacked into the user-ids of retired officials and unclaimed “suspense” refunds were generated to siphon off the taxpayers hard-earned money.
The department cracked the whip after it found that there was a steep increase in the number of refund related frauds and a number of taxpayers and assesses complained to the department as they never got their due money from the I-T.
The CBI also recently arrested two people for defrauding in the refunds generated by the I-T.
The department has now issued a slew of directives to its officials who handle refunds, which include launching a new password policy and tagging each refund with a unique code number while it has increased the intervention of senior officials in checking refunds claims.
The department, during its enquiry, found that a number of cases were processed by migrating the Permanent Account Numbers (PANs) of the taxpayer to those Assessment Officers (AOs) and user-ids who were “not even authorised to process Income Tax returns”.
The department has now asked its technical unit to run a scanner on all those official user-ids, including those of retired officials, which are not in use and kill them.
When an AO processes a refund, he or she logs on to the official system of the I-T to settle the claim and for this an user-id is created for every such officer.