Hotel bills above Rs 20,000 and Business Class air travel to come under tax scanner

Prime Minister Narendra Modi while launching the ‘Transparent Taxation’ platform has announced multiple reforms to improve tax compliance, faceless assessment and ease of filing returns.

As part of the overhaul, the government has also proposed to reduce the threshold of various transactions for tax disclosure. This is aimed at widening the income tax base and checking tax evasion, Moneycontrol has reported.

The list will now include white good purchases, property tax payment, medical and life insurance premium and even hotel payments.

So, the next time you pay a hotel bill or medical insurance premium of more than Rs 20,000, incur an expenditure exceeding Rs 50,000 on life insurance or over Rs 1 lakh for school fee, purchase white goods, jewellery, marble or paintings (see image below), be mindful that the entity you have made the payment to will be informing the government of your transaction.

Even payments made to the government such as property tax and electricity bills would be reported if they exceed Rs 20,000 and Rs 1 lakh, respectively. Business-class airline travel, whether domestic or foreign, would be reported, as per communication from the Ministry of Finance. These would be reflected in an individual’s tax account statement called Form 26 AS, Moneycontrol has said.

Some of these had already been announced earlier during the Union Budget or are being captured through income tax returns. But a formal implementation was made known yesterday by the Prime Minister.