Significant dip in illegal holdings by Indians abroad, says Jaitley

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on January 17, 2018 Published on July 10, 2016

Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley T a seminar on Income Delclaration Scheme 2016 in Ahmedabad on Sunday.   -  PTI

IDS 2016 is an opportunity for people to pay tax and come clean: Finance Minister

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Income Declaration Scheme 2016 is aimed at providing an opportunity to persons who have not paid full tax in the past to come forward and declare the undisclosed income, pay tax and come clean.

Addressing the first national seminar on IDS 2016, here on Sunday, Jaitley said the Government’s measures have ensured that there is a ‘significant dip’ in the illegal foreign assets held by Indians. “The recent reports have indicated that there is a sizable dip in the Indian holdings outside the country. Today, there is a panic among people who hold illegal assets outside. If you take from 1947 to 2014, the cumulative effect of all steps taken (by the previous governments), would not even be a miniscule percentage of what this government has done in the last two years,” Jaitley said.

According to IDS 2016, those who have not disclosed their income or assets in the past can do so by September 30, 2016.

This will be done with an additional 15 per cent tax (7.5 per cent penalty and 7.5 per cent Agriculture Cess) over and above the normal 30 per cent tax that is otherwise payable.

Jaitley said the Government was trying to make the Tax Department assessee-friendly.

‘A disclosure scheme’

“This is a part of our overall approach, we do not want to be vindictive on any section. We don’t want to terrorise people. Therefore, we want to give them an opportunity to come out clean. This isn't an immunity scheme, but a disclosure scheme. This is a lifetime opportunity for those who have not disclosed their income,” he said.

“G-20 nations, which control about 85 per cent of the world economy, have decided to cooperate in this direction to share information of illegal assets. It is believed that by 2017, we will have real time information about all those who have assets stashed abroad under the FATCA agreement that we have signed with the US,” Jaitley added.

Welcoming the IDS 2016, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) appealed to its members and clients to come forward and make use of the opportunity provided by the scheme.

“This scheme will help in stopping the money from going into safe heavens. Because once the amount is in white, we can start investing here. Now that the scheme is open, there is more trust because of the confidentiality. So it is a good opportunity for businessman and professionals, who have missed the compliance of law,” said M Devaraja Reddy, President, ICAI.

Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia ruled out any possibility of giving an extension beyond September.

In her address, Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel said the State had contributed ₹34,865 crore to the Central I-T collections last fiscal with 30 lakh tax payers and 1.57 crore PAN card holders.

Published on July 10, 2016
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