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As one time measure, the government has decided to write off outstanding taxes of 21.54 lakh taxpayers who owe Rs 100 or less. This was stated by Minister of State for Finance Santosh Kumar Gangwar in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today. He said that with a view to reducing the administrative burden of maintaining and servicing very low amount of arrears, the government decided to write off the arrears in about 21.54 lakh cases. "Since only a small amount of Rs 6.4 crore is to be written off under the decision of the government, no significant loss of revenue is caused requiring any arrangement or provision to be made in this regard," he said. On the other hand, Gangwar said removal of 21.54 lakh cases (16 per cent of all cases) of low-value arrear from the records of the Income Tax Department would have a significant positive impact on the process of arrear collection and management. "Though the decision to write off arrears up to Rs 100 has no bearing on prevention of tax evasion, the government has separately taken several steps to counter tax evasion and unearth unaccounted money...," the minister added. In another reply, Gangwar said cases for e-verification of cash deposits made during the demonetisation period (November 9 - December 30, 2016) under 'operation clean money' have been identified by matching the database on tax profiles of persons with the quantum of deposits made by them. As part of the "initial phase", he said the tax department has sought online response as per pre-defined parameters on source of case deposited by 17.92 lakh persons through its e-filing portal.
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