Desperate to curb the flow of blackmoney into the country’s economy, the Income Tax department has now begun to track all fliers and visitors who travel to tax havens like Switzerland, Virgin Islands and Bahamas for personal or business purposes secretly. The department has focussed its intelligence and investigation scanner on all such travellers who have visited tax haven nations last year and have not disclosed the expenditure and instances of such tours in their Income Tax returns.

The drive by the I-T department assumes importance in the backdrop of the clamour to unearth blackmoney which is suspected to be stashed away essentially in such nations with taxpayer friendly laws — called tax havens — thereby encouraging people to hide their ill-gotten wealth in secret lockers of these countries.

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  1. A.BANERJEE says:

    The news regarding identification and tracking of the visitors to tax havens is really the height of humour. What seems to have escaped the attention of all concerned is the simple truth that those visiting the tax havens do not fly direct to and from these places. Instead, they are destined to the nearest international airports on Indian passports where arrangements are kept ready to ensure their clandestine and surreptitious visits to these havens so that there is no trace of their visits with the Indian authorities and or record thereof on their Indian passports. After all, they have been doing so for ages and a very professionally organised and well-oiled system must be in operation.
    The second aspect is that, the Air Intelligence Wing of the Income Tax department is merely a formality, bereft of any status in the airports and do not get the requisite cooperation/recognition from the other authorities operating in the airports due to the underlying problems of “rank”. The Customs, CISF, State Police, Security, IAAI, etc., are least bothered to even look at “the petty IT fellows” (their words).

    This apart, until the government decides to revamp the tax, ED, DRI, SFIO, etc., by bringing them under officers of services trained and with expertise in investigation of tax fraud and the status of the IRS is upgraded (as in the US, for example), and keeping them subordinate to the rank unprofessional IAS (lacking any working experience in investigation), all this is bound to remain mere gimmicks. These outfits are just playthings in the hands of the bureaucracy which decides their fate and clip their effectiveness so as to make them fall guys in times of need.

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June 2021