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‘Project Insight’: A Project to Peep into your Social Media Accounts to spot Tax Evaders

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Project Insight, Indian Project Insight, Social Media Screening
Project Insight by Indian Government will screen social media accounst of citizens

Mumbai: Your Facebook posts are meant for your friends only, isn’t it? You customize your privacy settings in order to prevent any unauthorized trespassers to peep into your personal life. If you are one who we are talking about then you must be aware of what we are reporting next. Indian Income department may monitor your social media posts inorder to check your spending pattern. The objective is to curb the tax evasion by many citizens.




The traditional and conventional way of raiding the office and houses may reduce or remain the same. But with the implementation of this new social media ‘raiding’ will help the Indian government spot the people with less tax declaration but more spending. The report suggest that this ‘Social Media Raiding’ will commence from next month itself i.e. August 2017. The Government has named this project as ‘Project Insight’ which will complement world’s largest biometric identity and make more people pay up their obligated taxes. Amit Maheshwari, a Managing Partner at an accountancy firm told TOI “This will put an end to harassment by tax officials as there will be no public interface,”

 

This system of spotting the tax evaders via social media is currently used by countries like Belgium, Canada and Australia which helps Government make the right tax paid by citizens whose tax examination may have gone unnoticed. The first phase of the ‘Project Insight’ will begin from August which is anticipated to increase the tax compliance by 30%-40%, as per domain experts. The second and third phase of ‘Project Insight’ will begin from December 2017 and May 2018 respectively. The second phase with more data analytics and third phase with advanced technology will be used to bring more tax evaders to pay the obligated tax, reports TOI.

 

According to Government data released, the current India’s tax-to-GDP ratio is 17% which is lesser than 25% that of other Asian countries. During ‘Project Insight’, the Government will migrate the existing data like Credit Card spendings, Property and Stock investments, Cash Purchases and Deposits to the new system and a central team will contact the defaulters via mass mailing to file for tax declaration. With the implementation of ‘Project Insight’, the Government targets at the increased tax-to-GDP ratio.

 

However, no one from Finance Ministry including the spokesperson D S Malik, made any comment on ‘Project Insight’.




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