Government denies ordering arrest of wilful tax defaulters

Government denies ordering arrest of wilful tax defaulters

New Delhi, June 21 (IANS) The government on Tuesday denied reports in a section of media that India’s income tax department has asked officers to even invoke the rare provisions of arrest, detention and auctioning of assets of defaulters, saying that no such orders had been given.

“Certain sections of the press have been carrying news reports today that Income Tax Department is going to arrest wilful defaulters of tax.

“It is clarified that no such statement has been authorised by the Income Tax Department,” said a finance ministry statement here.

“Though the provisions for arrest and detention by the tax recovery officers in respect of the non-compliant tax defaulters are contained in the Income Tax Act, these are used extremely sparingly,” it added.

It was reported on Tuesday that faced with increasing cases of defaulters evading taxes, the Income Tax department had asked its officers not to shy away from invoking the rare provisions of arrest, detention and auctioning of attached assets of the accused.

The provision in question is Section 276C (2) of the Income Tax Act that stipulates action involving rigorous imprisonment for a period between three months and three years, and may also carry a fine.

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