Govt offers ‘window’ to black money holders to disclose assets
NEW DELHI: The Union government
on Sunday disclosed that it will offer a ‘window’ to Indians holding black
money in foreign bank accounts to come clean but categorically ruled out any
amnesty scheme for them.
A day after Finance
Minister Arun Jaitley announced in his budget that a stringent law will be
brought providing for up to 10 years imprisonment for concealment of income, the
government said that foreign bank account holders would be provided a window to
disclose their accounts and assets.
In an interview to PTI,
Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said the failure to unveil assets
abroad would invite a rigorous jail term of up to seven years, while
concealment of income and tax evasion would result in 10-year imprisonment.
These provisions will
be part of a Bill that the government plans to bring in the current session of
Parliament to check the black money menace.
Jaitley had said that
the offences under these provisions would be non-compoundable and Sinha
elaborated, saying that concealment of overseas income and evasion of tax will
be prosecutable with punishment of rigorous imprisonment up to 10 years.
In case of non-filing
of returns or filing of returns with inadequate disclosure of foreign assets,
the punishment will be rigorous imprisonment up to seven years. Sinha said
penalty for concealment of such income and assets would be at the rate of 300
per cent of the tax.
The minister ruled out
bringing any amnesty scheme. “There is no amnesty scheme. We have said very
clearly, we expect everybody, who has any undisclosed wealth, accounts, so on
...outside the country should disclose that.
“We have created a
window to do that. There is no amnesty at all. You have to disclose, what you
have. You have a certain amount of time to disclose that...If they don't
disclose, they will be liable to punishment of various imprisonment up to 7
Moreover, as per the
provisions, the account holder will have to mandatorily specify the date of
opening of foreign account in the return of income.