The Finance Ministry expects a rush in declarations under the new black money law during the last fortnight ending September 30.
Under the new Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015, one needs to declare undisclosed assets and bank accounts abroad by September 30 and pay tax along with penalty by December 31.
“You will notice that people file income tax returns normally in and around the due date. The same can be said to be true with black money declarations, too,” a senior government official told BusinessLine . There is speculation that the response till date has been very poor, with reports suggesting that just one declaration had been made after the compliance window opened on July 1.
The law prescribed a one-time opportunity to individuals to come clean by declaring undisclosed physical and monetary assets, besides paying tax at the rate of 30 per cent plus equal penalty. This means after paying 60 per cent of the value, the person concerned will not be prosecuted under the new legislation.
The disclosure will not be used as evidence against the assessee under the Wealth Tax Act, the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), the Companies Act or the Customs Act. Wealth Tax will also not be payable. However, people not using this window will have to pay 120 per cent of the value of the undisclosed assets and also face prosecution.
The official, however, clarified that actually, this sum is based on the information gathered under various international agreements that enabled easier flow of information. Now, the process is under way to ascertain the actual beneficiaries, raise demand and take necessary action, he added.
To answer queries in this regard from the chartered accountants fraternity, Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta Das is slated to interact with members of Institute of Chartered Accountants in India (ICAI) on August 26. This will be the second such meeting after the first one in Delhi on August 10.