One of the important wings of the Income Tax Department is the Investigation Wing. It may also be called the enforcement machinery or the deterrence machinery of the department. The machinery works towards the broad objective of combating tax evasion. The mandate for the investigation wing is to gather intelligence and thereafter carry out enquiries, surveys and searches for detecting tax evasion and unearthing concealment of income and wealth. Basically, the emphasis in the investigation wing is on catching the evaders for creating deterrence against tax evasion.
The wing functions under the overall supervision and control of the Director General of Income Tax (mv.). Under him are the Directors of Income Tax (mv.), who are the heads in their respective territorial jurisdictions. Under them are the units headed by Additional / Joint Directors of Income Tax (mv.) with a number of Deputy / Assistant Directors of Income Tax (mv.) and a large force of Inspectors working under them. The inspectors are the field functionaries of the department.
Complimenting the Investigation Wing are the Central Circles as these carry forward the mandate of checking tax evasion. The central circles take over the evidence gathered by the investigation wing during searches and take the search cases to a logical conclusion by completing assessments in such cases and passing the required penalty orders. Wherever deemed fit, prosecution proceedings against the offenders are launched in the court by the officers of the central circles. The set up of central circles, also called central charge, is placed under the Director General of Income Tax (mv.) and is headed by Commissioner of Income Tax (Central). In large metros, i.e. Delhi and Mumbai, the central charges function under Chief Commissioners of Income Tax (Central).
The government has also recently announced the setting up of a specialized agency named as Directorate of Income Tax (Criminal Investigation) under the Central Board of Direct Taxes. The directorate (DCI) will investigate cases involving tax evasion arising out of criminal activities, such as terror funding, money laundering, narcotics related fund flows, etc. It is expected that it will help in locating crimes or criminals by tracking money ‘ils before, during or after a crime is committed. Its scope of work would include collecting information about persons and transactions that are suspected to be involved n criminal activities and to investigate the source of such funds.
The directorate will be headed by a Director General of Income Tax (Criminal Investigation) and shall have eight Directors of Income Tax (Criminal Investigation) located at Delhi, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Lucknow.
The DCI will also strengthen the ongoing efforts of the department in combating tax evasion and checking the generation and growth of black money.