Continuing their investigation on black money hoarders, tax authorities will send notices to all cases of suspicious cash deposits during the demonetisation period by May 31.

This is a key focus for the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) as part its interim action plan for the first quarter of 2018-19.

It also said verification in all pending cases of high value and non-PAN transactions, including deposits, during demonetisation should be completed by June 30. The CBDT had launched Operation Clean Money soon after demonetisation of high value notes of ₹500 and ₹1,000 in November 2016 to investigate cash deposits of over ₹2 lakh.

Since then, it had identified around 22.69 lakh persons who deposited a total of ₹5.27 lakh crore of cash during demonetisation but their tax profile was inconsistent with these transactions.

With a number of such efforts, the number of new income tax return filers increased to 99.49 lakh in 2017-18. The total number of tax returns filed last fiscal also increased by 26 per cent to 6.84 crore. The CBDT also plans to go after TDS (tax deducted at source) evaders in the first quarter of this fiscal.

As part of its action plan, it has asked officers to collect all the pending TDS demand up to April 1.

It has also said that atleast 10 cases of TDS and TCS default should be processed for prosecution. “Processing of the TDS/TCS defaults for prosecution under section 276B/276BB in 10 cases already identified during 2017-18 and 2016-17,” it said.

The final action plan for the fiscal, which includes targets for revenue collection as well as key result areas for each of its tax divisions, will be finalised later in the year after the annual conference of income tax officers. For 2018-19, the Budget has targeted raising ₹11.5 lakh crore as direct taxes, compared to the Revised Estimate of 2017-18 of ₹10.05 lakh crore.

Tax experts said the move would give a boost to tax revenues. “CBDT has issued Key Result Areas for the concerned officers in various departments to set out the deadlines to conduct their respective proceedings in a time bound manner. Since the Central Government is facing shortfall in direct tax collections against the set targets, it is important that the revenues stuck in various pending proceedings are completed quickly,” said Sandeep Sehgal, Director, Ashok Maheshwary & Associates.