Income Tax department has asked its officers not to refrain from invoking the rare provisions of arrest, detention and auctioning of attached assets of the accused.
In a strategy paper for the current fiscal, the Central Board of Direct Taxes has directed the tax department to use this provision, stated under Section 276C (2) of the IT Act that specifies action to ensure severe imprisonment for a period between three months and three years which may also carry a fine.
The department has a specific official to execute these rare powers, called the Tax Recovery Officer (TRO) within its establishment.
"The machinery of the TRO should be strengthened by providing more infrastructure and manpower. The TROs should be further trained specifically for their work in order to increase their effectiveness. In respect of non-compliant defaulters, the provisions of arrest and detention as per the provisions of Rules 73 to 81 of Schedule II should be invoked by the TRO.
"Stringent action can be taken in suitable cases including use of the provision for prosecution under section 276C(2) of the Act," it said.
Strategy papers act as guidance for the taxman for the financial year, in this case 2016-17.
Directives have also asked the supervising authority of the TROs (Principal Commissioner of IT) to check their work "especially in the area of attachment and sale of property to ensure that the attached properties are sold within one year."