Uploading fancy photos on social media sites may now bring tax officials to your door

The Narendra Modi government is working on ‘Project Insight’ for last seven years at a cost of about 10 billion rupees

Trouble may be brewing for the tax evaders who could not resist the temptation to show off on social media. Now your fancy car or an expensive holiday visit can invite taxman to your door. Prime Minister Narendra Modi led NDA government has reportedly proposed amassing a warehouse of virtual information about an individual not only from traditional sources like banks but it will also follow social media post to match his/her spending pattern with income declarations.

The government has been working on ‘Project Insight’ for last seven years at a cost of about 10 billion rupees ($156 million), a comprehensive IT structure that ‘complements the world’s largest biometric identity database.’ It is likely to result in India’s most ambitious tax overhaul as policy makers try to get more people to pay up.

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“Officials will be able to spot those who pay too little tax without raiding offices and homes as they currently do, the people said, asking not to be identified citing rules on speaking with the media,” a NDTV report said.

India may one of the world’s fastest growing economy but its revenue is not keeping pace with its growth. Last day for declaration of income tax returns for the financial year 2016-17 is on July 30.

“Data analytics is the way forward for tax administrations across the world,” said Amit Maheshwari, managing partner at a New Delhi based accountancy firm .”This will also put an end to harassment by tax officials as there will be no public interface. Perceived randomness in scrutiny will come to an end.” he told Bloomberg.

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The second phase of the project will be rolled out by December during which data analytics will mine, clean and process the information, the report added.


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