Black money disclosing can be made public

August 05, 2015 16:39
Black money disclosing can be made public

There is no assurance of an absolute confidentiality to those disclosing foreign assets on their own, the government said that the information provided during the one-time compliance window can be revealed in the public interest.

"In this (black money) law, there is no assurance of confidentiality, but at the same time there is a provision that Section 138 of I-T Act, which is basically a confidentiality provision, that is the information of individual taxpayer will be kept confidential. However, the Department in public interest can declare it," Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta Das said.

"By and large the information would be kept confidential. Under the new law, it is not the case that we will put up a public notice that so and so have availed the benefit and paid tax", he added.

"The Revenue Department would come out with a second set of FAQs on the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015 to clarify the provisions of the law", Das said.

"The government will start getting information from different countries under the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) from 2017", he also said, that the tax department will get to know whenever domestic black money is taken abroad.

"Given that information flow will begin from 2017, it will be in the interest of tax payer to come clean, pay tax and penalty and have a good night sleep," Das said.

"However, those having undisclosed assets, they have been given an opportunity to come clean and if they do not take advantage, they will have to face the consequences which include tax and penalty of 120 per cent and jail term extending up to 10 ten years", chairperson of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Anita Kapur said.

She has stated that the tax department has already introduced changes in the Income Tax Act in 2012 under which persons are required to disclose their overseas income and so far 25,000-30,000 people have declared such assets which they legitimately own.

The Revenue Department had issued the rules and the first set of FAQs on the new law, which has come into force from July 1 and provides a 90-day compliance window to help people who are holding unaccounted assets abroad to come clean by paying 60 per cent tax and penalty.

By Premji

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