Taxmen to snoop social media sites to trace black money


New Delhi: To trace black money, a photo of the shiny new luxury car on Instagram or a costly watch on Facebook may lead the taxman to door as the tax department from next month will begin amassing virtual information.

‘Project Insight’, likely to be launched next month, will use big data analytics to match information from social media sites to deduce mismatches between spending pattern and income declaration.

The tax department will analyse mismatches in income declarations and spending patterns to trace tax evasions and black money, an official said.

The government has also made linking of PAN with Aadhaar mandatory to get a 360-degree view of a person’s income and assets.

Project Insight has been initiated by the income tax department for data mining, collection, collation, and processing of such information for effective risk management with a view to widen and deepen the tax base.

It will help the taxmen monitor high-value transactions, and curb the circulation of black money.

This is part of the steps the government has taken to unearth and tax undeclared or illegal wealth.

The steps include launch of ‘Operation Clean Money’ after demonetisation of old higher denomination currency for collection, collation and analysis of information on cash transactions, extensive use of information technology and data analytics tools for identification of high-risk cases, expeditious e-verification of suspect cases and enforcement actions.

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