Income-tax sleuths on Friday launched a massive crackdown on consumers who are buying more than 1 Kg of Tomatoes, across India. This was in the wake of allegations that if people are so rich that they can afford such a pricey item in such an inordinate quantity, then there must be black money involved. Sources from the department confirmed that several crores were seized from some of these buyers, during the day-long search operation that is likely to go on through the weekend.
Senior official said, “Last year, the tax department had tracked those found spending large amounts of money on foreign trips, getting admission to medical colleges through management seats or people buying heavy gold and diamond jewelry. But this is year we are just tracking purchasers of tomato, potato and daal. We have posted each of our officers in key, sabzi mandis of each city. It’s easier to track, you know.”
He further added, “We are also tracking social media posts, such as photographs of tomato soup or Bhel with higher than average levels of tomato pieces, which housewives have shared among her friends. We are as tech savvy as anybody else, you know”
“The main purpose is to ascertain the lifestyle and thus real income of the taxpayer. If his personal expenditure, including by way of tomato purchase, is disproportionate to the income declared in the I-T return, an in depth probe can follow to unearth unaccounted income,” explains a Hyderabad-based tax practitioner.