Meghalaya tribals fail to respond to I-T notices

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SHILLONG, MAY 16: Investigation into cash deposits during the demonetisation period has revealed that a large number of tribal residents in Meghalaya have not responded to notices issues by the Income Tax (I-T) Department to explain the income source of their deposit.
Although tribals of the State are exempted from paying income tax, this exemption is subject to certain conditions which are required to be compulsorily verified in cases of large cash deposits during demonetisation.
The I-T Department held a meeting with NGOs at the Aayakar Bhawan here yesterday which was chaired by Chief Commissioner of I-T, Shillong, RS Upadhyay.
Representatives from the Synjuk Ki Rangbah Shnong, Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) and Federation of Khasi, Jaintia and Garo Peoples (FKJGP) attended the meeting.
Officials from the I-T Department explained that the Department’s investigation into the cases of cash deposits during demonetisation is required to be completed and so notices calling for information have already reached depositors, including tribals.
However, compliance with the notices is poor since many tribal depositors are confused as to why they are receiving the notice and how to provide the details required.
“The exemption enjoyed by the tribals of the Northeast is subject to certain conditions, which are required to be compulsorily verified in cases of large cash deposits during demonetisation,” I-T officials said.
The officials said verification is necessary to ensure genuineness of the deposits and eliminate the possibility of illegal transactions.
“The depositors receiving the notices are only required to own up to the deposits with basic evidence of their tribal status, source of income and evidence of earning within the tribal area. In the notices, an easy format is provided which will make compliance very easy,” the officials informed.
Non-compliance, whether willful or out of misunderstanding of the legal status, will only create complications and lead to raising of tax demands against the depositors, it was emphasised.
Upadhyay requested the NGOs to use their influence to propagate the legal position so that the depositors understand the matter and comply with the notices. (Courtesy: AT)