Government assures complete confidentiality Scheme not be extended beyond September 30 – Revenue Secretary
The Government has assured complete confidentiality to those declaring their income under the Income Declaration Scheme 2016. Addressing a press conference in Mumbai today, the Revenue Secretary, Government of India Shri Hasmukh Adhia said “no source will be asked and no further proceedings will be initiated against those availing of the opportunity to declare their hitherto undisclosed income under the scheme”. Shri Adhia also reassured that the information contained in the declaration will not be shared with any other law enforcement agency.
The Income Declaration Scheme (IDS) 2016, which was announced by the Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley in the Union Budget 2016-17, opened from June 1. The IDS provides a four month compliance window up to September 30, to people with undisclosed income in the country to come clean by paying tax, penalty and surcharge of 45 per cent of fair market value latest by November 30, 2016.
Shri Adhia made it amply clear that this is a one time opportunity and the window will not be extended beyond the four month period , ending on September 30. He said this is a last chance for people to declare their unaccounted income, following which, the Income Tax Department would initiate its own action.
The Secretary informed that the Government has received many requests and suggestions with respect to the scheme including a demand to extend the deadline for paying tax and a provision to pay tax in instalments. “These suggestions are being examined by the government and an appropriate decision would be taken in due course of time” Shri Adhia added.
To a query on whether undisclosed income can be passed on as current income and tax paid at a lower 33% rate, the Revenue Secretary replied that it would amount to false verification and the assessee would be required to explain the source of income.
Shri Adhia said that the Central Board of Direct Taxes, CBDT has posted a fresh set of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) on the disclosure scheme on its website www.incometaxindia.gov.in He said CBDT has also launched a massive outreach programme to create awareness about the scheme.
Replying to a query on Indian black money in the Swiss banks, Shri Adhia said India and Switzerland have agreed to conclude a pact on automatic exchange of information by the end of this year. Once the agreement is signed, it will enable India to receive all financial information about its residents, including bank accounts and balances, dividends and interest income from Switzerland from 2018.