Chandigarh: The Income Tax department on Friday said cash confiscated by surveillance teams on the direction of Election Commission will be returned only after the completion of assessment of I-T returns for 2011-12 fiscal which may take up to two years.

"Persons whose cash has been seized (by surveillance teams) will have to explain the source of cash in their (income tax) returns to their respective assessing officers.

"Money will be returned after adjusting tax (applicable on the same) during the assessment (of returns) which may take one and a half year to two years," Income Tax (Investigation), Director, H S Sohi said.

The Election Commission has directed seizure of cash above Rs 1 lakh being carried by any one in case the person is not able to disclose the source of money or produce supporting documents in view of elections to the 117 member state assembly on January 30.

The Assessment is an exercise carried out by Income Tax the department to determine tax on actual income of an assessee in a particular financial year.

After seizing the “unaccounted” money, Sohi said that Directorate of Income Tax (Investigation) would send a detailed report to the respective assessing officers explaining about the cash seized.

“Thereafter assessing officers will initiate the process of assessment against persons from whom cash was seized,” he said.