See Some Black Money? Send Us An E-mail, Says Government

The new black money disclosure scheme will start from December 17 and continue up to March 31, 2017.

Revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia. Credit: Reuters

Revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia. Credit: Reuters

New Delhi: Do you suspect your landlord is hiding black money? Or do you have solid information that a local goon is under-reporting his income? Shoot off an e-mail to “[email protected]”.

To get more information on money launderers, India’s tax department has created a special email address where anyone can provide tip-off information.

“People who have knowledge of money launderers can give direct information to us. We have created an email id: [email protected] [for the purpose],” Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said on Friday.

The e-mail ID is the latest salvo by the Modi government in its fight against black money, even as it becomes increasingly clear that the next task that awaits it is combing through nearly Rs. 14 lakh crore of bank deposits.

On Friday, the government also announced more details of its new tax evasion amnesty scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY).  The government said that black money holders have time until March-end to come clean by paying 50% tax on bank deposits (of demonetised notes) made after November 8.

Offering tax dodgers confidentiality and immunity from prosecution under the PMGKY, which comes into effect from Saturday, Adhia said non-disclosure of deposits made in banks after the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes were junked would attract stiffer penalties as well as prosecution.

Not declaring the black money under the scheme now but showing it as income in the tax return form would lead to a total levy of 77.25% in taxes and penalty. In case the disclosure is not made either using the scheme or in return, a further 10% penalty on tax will be levied followed by prosecution, he said.

The disclosure scheme is part of The Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Act, 2016, which was approved by the Lok Sabha earlier this month and has been approved by the President.

The PMGKY will commence on December 17 and shall remain open for declarations up to March 31, Adhia told reporters here. “Beginning tomorrow most of the banks will have challans to be filled for depositing tax for availing the PMGKY scheme. Only after payment of 50% tax and setting aside the 25% of the remaining undisclosed amount for four years, can a person avail of the PMGKY scheme,” he said.

Adhia emphasised that merely depositing cash in banks will not convert black money into white. Taxes have to be paid. As per the scheme, taxes will have to be paid first and then the scheme can be availed on production of tax receipt, unlike the recent Income Disclosure Scheme and other such plans wherein disclosures were made first and taxes were recovered later.

Also, as the disclosures will be kept confidential, the holder of unaccounted cash need not disclose it in income tax returns forms.

Adhia said: “Non-declaration of undisclosed cash or deposit in accounts under the scheme will render such undisclosed income liable to tax, surcharge and cess totalling to 77.25% of such income if it is declared in the income tax returns.

“In case the same is not shown in the return of income a further penalty of 10% of tax shall also be levied followed by prosecution.” The government, he said, through the financial intelligence unit (FIU) is getting data about every single deposit in bank account. 

“We have information from FIU regarding how much deposits have been made in dormant account, (zero-balance) Jan Dhan, urban cooperative bank, how much repayment of loans have been made in cash, RTGS transfers, withdrawal and hence I-T department has been successful through its raids,” Adhia said.

With the help of professional agencies, a thorough analysis of all deposits that come till December 30 will be done to try and join all the dots, he said, adding that raids conducted so far are based on “information analysis”.

Suspicious activities

CBDT Chairman Sushil Chandra said tax department is keeping an eye on all suspicious activities. “So the assessees should know that their deposits in bank accounts are being watched. We are examining whether it is explained money or not. Therefore, they should come very very clean under this scheme which is the last window available for anyone,” he said.

Giving details of the PMGKY scheme, Adhia said declaration of undisclosed income under it can be made by any person in the form of cash or deposits in an account with bank or post office or a specified entity.

“Tax at the rate of 30% of the undisclosed income, surcharge of 33% of tax and penalty of 10% of such income is payable besides mandatory deposit of 25% of the undisclosed income in the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Deposit Scheme 2016. The deposits are interest-free and have a lock-in period of four years,” he said.

(With PTI inputs)