India offers more time to black money hoarders to come clean
12:57 PM, December 17, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:06 PM, December 17, 2016

India offers more time to black money hoarders to come clean

The Indian government has extended the span of the income declaration scheme from Dec 17- March 31.

In order to give another chance to black money hoarders to come clean, the government on Friday introduced the second round of Income Declaration Scheme that will commence from 17 December and run till 31 March. Under the scheme, individuals can declare their undisclosed amount subject to paying 50 percent tax and penalty.

Also READ: While India plugs black money holes, Indians find leaks

“Declarations under new black money disclosure scheme will be kept confidential and information won't be used for prosecution,” revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said in a briefing to reporters today, adding that the government wants people to contribute to the welfare of the poor through Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana.

When The Statesman asked whether political parties accounts will also be scrutinised by IT department for depositing old currency in bank accounts, Adhia said old currency deposited by political parties treasurers in their accounts is not subject to tax.  

He added that a new email address has also been created for people to give information directly on black money to tax authorities. “People can directly contact the department with information about possible conversion of black money at email address: blackmoneyinfo@incometax.gov.in,” Adhia said.

“Beginning tomorrow most of the banks will have challans to be filled for depositing tax for availing the PMGKY scheme. Only after payment of 50 percent tax and setting aside 25 percent of the remaining undisclosed amount for 4 years on a non-earning instrument, a person can avail the PMGKY scheme,” he said.

Adhia also said those who fail to declare untaxed income, will have to pay minimum 77 percent and up to 100 percent in tax and fines. Adhia said the government has plugged existing loopholes of the I-T Act via amendments.

However, there will be no immunity in criminal laws and the information will not be shared for any tax purpose. “We do not want tax officials to bother anyone. We have information and I-T will use it. Financial Intelligence Unit is providing us with all tax-related information," said Adhia, warning that those who have deposited money in bank accounts should not think that they have escaped by depositing Rs 2 lakh in 10 different banks.

The secretary added, “we are getting data on suspicious deposits on a daily basis from banks. I-T department will probe money deposited in bank accounts and clearance will be given only after deducting taxes from any such account.” He warned that the government is planning more steps and that it will investigate multiple accounts of individuals where huge deposits have been made. He said farmers having income more than Rs 2.5 lakh will have to provide PAN card.

Adhia emphasised that mere depositing of cash in banks will not convert black money into white. Taxes have to be paid. According to the scheme, taxes will have to be paid first unlike the previous Income Disclosure Scheme.

CBDT chairman Sushil Chandra spoke of the cash seizures and various actions being taken by the department.

Copyright: The Statesman/Asia News Network

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