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Search engines will soon catch tax evaders, warns Chidambaram

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P. Chidambaram
P. Chidambaram

Special Correspondent

Union Finance Minister calls for trust between tax collectors, taxpayers

  • Taxpayers units to be opened in Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata
  • Firms paying Rs. 5 crore in Central taxes eligible to join LTUs

    BANGALORE: Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Saturday called for mutual trust between tax collectors and taxpayers for better tax compliance and said innovative search engines were being created to mine information and unearth tax evaders in the country.

    "A small number of tax evaders believe they are clever. But that is no longer true. We will reach out to those who are not paying tax at all," he said at the inauguration of the country's first Large Taxpayers Unit (LTU) here.

    Limited information was coming in the way of finding tax evaders, but it would soon change. A group of professionals was working on several innovative search engines that would help in collecting information on tax evaders. "We are becoming better and better and collecting information of tax evaders," Mr. Chidambaram said.

    He said the Government would open LTUs in Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. Of them, he expected one or two to begin operations before end of this fiscal year. There were 830 companies or entities that were eligible to join LTUs.

    As many as 202 were eligible to join LTUs in Delhi, 282 in Mumbai, 132 in Chennai, 131 in Kolkata and 83 in Bangalore. Units that were paying more than Rs. 5 crore in Central taxes a year were eligible to join LTUs.

    He said 31 of the 83 eligible large taxpayers had joined the LTU in Bangalore. The Finance Minister expressed confidence that many more large taxpayers would evince interest in joining the LTU. Some of major units that have opted for LTU in Bangalore are Toyota Kirloskar Motor, ABB Ltd., Astra Zaneca, Volvo, 3M India, Canara Bank, Vijaya Bank, ING Vysya Life Insurance and TNT.

    The total revenue (Central excise, service tax and income tax) paid by these large units in 2005-06 was Rs. 1,564 crore.

    The figure is expected to go up to Rs. 1,800 crore in the current fiscal, Mr. Chidambaram said.

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