Difficult to recover 97pc of Rs 4.82 lakh cr tax arrears: CBDT

New Delhi: In a startling revelation, the CBDT has reported that 97 per cent of Income Tax demand arrears, quantified over Rs 4.66 lakh crore, is "difficult" to be recovered.
 
The total arrears amount to be recovered, stuck because of a variety of reasons like litigation, companies in liquidation, sick companies and untraceable taxpayers, is Rs 4.82 lakh crore.
 
Alarmed by the "precarious" situation, the apex body of the I-T department has initiated a slew of measures to collect these taxes including attachment of bank accounts of defaulters and arrest of 'wilful' evaders under tax laws.
 
"Attention is drawn to the precarious situation arising out of comparison of total arrear demand outstanding and demand difficult to recover.
 
The total arrear demand outstanding as on April 2012 was Rs 4,82,027 crore while the demand difficult to recover as per central action plan for March 2013 is Rs 4,66,854 crore (97 per cent).
 
The situation is alarming and leaves only 3 per cent of the demand in the recoverable arena.
 
"Even more alarming is the situation that less than 5 per cent, Rs 2,39,95 crore, of the total arrear demand outstanding (Rs 4.82 crore) could be collected during the 2012-13 fiscal," the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said in a recent communication to its top officers.
 
"The situation is surely not pleasant but the board and the I-T department are geared to pursue these cases vigorously.
 
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance have time and again urged the Finance Ministry to minimise this revenue loss sector and steps are being taken. The results will soon show," a senior official who did not want to be named said.