New Delhi: The government on Thursday said the Income Tax Department has been taking several punitive and deterrent steps to unearth unaccounted money and curb tax evasion.
"These include scrutiny of tax returns; surveys, search and seizure actions, imposition of penalty; and launching of prosecution in appropriate cases.
"Information technology is used in a systematic way for collection and collation of information to take anti-evasion action tax against evaders," Minister of State for Finance SS Palanimanickam said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.
"No time frame can be assigned to bring back black money stanshed abroad as drive against tax evasion is an ongoing and continuous process," he said.
The Minister said I-T department receives information from various sources including foreign governments under the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA)/ Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA).
But the same is covered by the confidentiality clause and can only be used for tax purposes specified therein, he said.
"Thus, the contents of the information received under DTAA cannot be disclosed to persons other than those involved in the assessment or collection of, the enforcement or prosecution in respect thereof, or the determination of appeals in relation to, the taxes covered by the Agreement," Palanimanickam said when asked to disclose names.
Government has instituted three studies to estimate the quantum of black money both inside and outside the country.