New Delhi, Feb 10: Union government’s tax kitty increased by Rs 26,500 Crore after it launched a drive to nab the persons who were doing high-value transactions but deliberately did not file their tax returns. The Income tax department, after tracking non-filers for years, forced offenders to file 1.7 crore extra returns. Also Read - Late Arun Jaitley's Son Rohan Files Nomination For DDCA President's Post

Finance minister Arun Jaitley, in his written reply to Rajya Sabha, said that I-T department tracked non-filers through in-house information and matched it with data on high-value transactions along with TDS and tax collected at source (TCS). Also Read - 'Rajya Sabha Footage Shreds Government’s Version', Oppn Comes Down Heavily on Govt; Dy Chairman Issues Clarification

“The mechanism for collection and verification of financial information has been broadened to include data in respect of various types of high-value transactions from banks and financial institutions and high-value expenditure from commercial establishments in the form of Statement of Financial Transaction (SFT),” Jaitley said. Also Read - Parliament Adjourns Sine Die, Monsoon Session Cut Short by Eight Days Over Coronavirus Concerns

He added that department’s decision to make PAN card mandatory for any transaction above Rs 2 Lakh proved crucial and the officials were mining data to nab more non-filers.

He added that after tracking non-filers, the government used rule-based algorithms to classify cases into various categories and monitoring them. It not only sent text messages and notices to offenders but also formed compliance management cell to track responses.