Project Insight: 360 degree tax profiling


From April 1, the Income-Tax department will keep a check on taxpayers’ comprehensive profile, including transactions, relationships, social networking and all other related information under its much-awaited Project Insight, slated to be fully operational from the beginning of the next financial year.

The Income-Tax department has created various functionalities under the portal, which will provide the 360-degree profile of taxpayers, including new and non-filers to gauge their accountability and tax liability. The tax department had on March 15 put out instructions for tax officials for accessing the insight portal.

The move aims to capture the tax compliance of the assessees and to bring more people under the tax net. This would also help nab errant assessees during demonetisation and those having pending demands exceeding Rs.10 lakh.

The information under the insight portal will be segregated. This will have the taxpayers’ master profile, including the individual’s address, signature, the tax return profile, where key values of the return and processing will be accessed.

Another segment will be business intelligence hub, which will provide filtered information and parameters to identify non-complaint taxpayers. This includes tax collection — this would have monitoring of gross and net collection, refund and top taxpayers; tax base for monitoring ITR filers, new filers and tax base; taxpayers’ compliance dealing with non-filers and scrutiny cases; third party reporting — monitoring of registration, filing and defects in the third party reports such as banks, financial intelligence unit, and other institutions mandated to flag off suspicious transactions.

These apart, the insight portal will have an integrated system for managing the information in an effective manner. The objective of this system is to leverage machine learning in organising, creating, sharing and using it for getting the right perspective at the right time.

Insight portal will also comprise information regarding cases related to demonetisation. In cases where substantial cash deposits were reported during the note-ban, a list of those were made available where tax sleuths could check the status of the matter (such as notices served, non-compliant) and so on.

Similarly, to assist the assessing officer in recovery of demand, the insight profile view has been enabled for high demand cases exceeding Rs.10 lakh, where demand has been marked non-recoverable because of assesses not traceable or have inadequate assets. The portal will provide details of movable and immovable assets to help the tax department in recovering pending dues.

Project Insight was launched in 2017, aimed to use big data analytics to match information from social media sites to deduce mismatches between spending pattern and income declaration.

The making of Insight portal 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 also help taxmen monitor high value transactions, and curb the circulation of black money.

The tax department had signed a pact with L&T Infotech for implementation of Project Insight, which is designed to strengthen non-intrusive information driven approach for improving tax compliance.

The steps include the 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 action.

The portal has been created by using technology allowing them to collate databases of IT returns, IT forms, TDS/TCS statements and Statement of Financial Transactions received from financial institutions.

360-degree tax profiling

Business intelligence: I-T will access tax collection, tax base, taxpayers’ compliance, TDS & third party reporting
Geographic information system: This will help select the specific area for more focused action; classification on the basis of income, profit, capital gains
Profiling: Taxpayers’ master profile, relationship, social networking, ITR status, asset details and annual summary
Verification: This provides access to different types of cases, generated based on profiles of individuals. This includes actionable cases
Information management: Collaborative collection of online web pages, collection of documents that could be probed
Other cases: The portal also provide whole data about high cash deposits during note-ban, pending demands exceeding Rs.10 lakh





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