Reuters: Indian officials on Thursday (1) said 638 declarations on assets stashed in foreign shores have yielded Rs. 37 billion during the two-month period announced by the federal government for tax evaders.
A 90-day compliance window, created under the new anti-black money act, was set up by the federal government to give a fair chance to those who wished to disclose their foreign assets. The compliance window was opened between 1 July and 30 September.
“Through the black money compliance window altogether 638 people have disclosed their assets stashed in foreign shores amounting to 37.7 billion rupees,” India’s Revenue Secretary, Hasmukh Adhia, informed.
People those who have declared their abroad held assets will have to pay tax at the rate of 30% and penalty at the rate of 30% by 31 December.
The Government is expected to collect tax worth Rs. 20 billion through these declarations.
However, tax officials warned that those who did not disclose their foreign assets will have to face serious consequences.
The penalties include a hefty 120% of the tax amount due besides a jail term of up to 10 years for holding undisclosed foreign assets.
“Now we can prosecute persons who have not disclosed their assets. The guilty will have to pay 30% tax and three times penalty. It means if one has assets worth 100 crore rupees, he has to pay a tax of 30 crore rupees and 90 crore rupees as penalty. Apart from this the person will be prosecuted where he can be imprisonment up to 10 years,” said Chairperson of Central Board of Direct Taxes, Anita Kapoor, in southern Bengaluru city.
India has long suffered from so-called black money, or funds illegally deposited in banks outside the country to avoid tax. A report by Washington-based think-tank, Global Financial Integrity, estimated that India suffered $344 billion in illicit fund outflows between 2002 and 2011.
A special investigations team was set up last May to investigate black money, a key priority for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Government, which this year unveiled tougher penalties against people convicted of illicitly stashing wealth abroad.