Panama Papers: India asks other countries for details on tax evaders, accounts

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on October 02, 2016

Has made 250 reference with other countries, says Jaitley

India has made as many as 250 references to other countries asking for details about tax evaders and bank accounts related to the Panama cases, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said.

This is significant as at least 500 Indians are reportedly said to have held offshore accounts in tax havens, leaked documents of financial records in April 2016, dubbed ‘Panama Papers’, had showed.

“Big investigations in Panama cases have led to 250 references being made to other countries…”, Jaitley told reporters here on Saturday detailing the steps taken by the government on the administration of tax evasion cases.

In April, Jaitley had said that the income-tax department had sent notices to every Indian whose name had appeared in the Panama Papers expose.

Panama, after British Virgin Islands, has been the most popular domicile for the anonymous shell companies controlled by the rich and famous around the world, including national leaders and celebrities. Panama is the last major holdout that continues to allow funds to be hidden offshore from tax and law enforcement authorities.

HSBC cases

Jaitley said that tax department has made assessment of ₹8,000 crore in HSBC cases as well as filed 164 prosecution complaints in 175 HSBC cases.

Also, ₹5,000 crore of undisclosed deposits in foreign accounts have been detected out of International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) cases.

Jaitley said that the quantum jump in searches and survey has resulted in seizure of ₹1,986 crore as well as undisclosed income of ₹56,378 crore in the last two-and-a-half years. The upgradation of IT capabilities has led to non-intrusive methods of detection of tax evasion. As much as₹16,000 crore has been received as tax out of one such system of non-filers of monitoring system. The 3,626 cases of prosecution and compounding in the last two and half years is more than double as compared to previous two years, Jaitley added.

Published on October 02, 2016

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