he taxman will investigate 40-50 individuals with suspicious farm income in excess of Rs 50 lakh each, a senior government official told BloombergQuint.
The Income Tax Department has been identifying taxpayers who have high agricultural and other income, and have finalised the cases from the past three years for scrutiny, said the official requesting anonymity. While the department expects to collect taxes from some of these cases, there will also be some genuine taxpayers as many companies report agricultural income, he said.
An email sent to the Central Board of Direct Taxes for confirmation did not elicit a response.
Farm income is exempt from tax in India. A farmer on an average earns Rs 6,426 a month, according to a National Sample Survey conducted in 2013. In nine years through March 2016, Indians declared $21 billion (nearly Rs 1.34 lakh crore) as agricultural income, according to a Bloomberg report.
The government is verifying if taxpayers who reported farm income of over Rs 1 crore in nine years to March 2016 were genuine, former Minister of State for Finance Santosh Gangwar had said while replying to a query in Parliament on December 6.
As carried in BQ on 20/9/2017