June 29, 2016 7:56:23 pm
The Income Tax department has claimed to have detected over Rs 13,000 crore black money after its investigations on global leaks about Indians holding stash funds abroad and launched prosecution against over 200 entities.
In the first case, the department said it has detected Rs 5,000 crore funds in “undisclosed foreign accounts” that were brought to the fore by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) as part of their first leaks of such global asset holders in 2013.
The ICIJ report had linked 700 Indians under this disclosure and the tax department, as per official data, found 462 “actionable” cases.
The department has already filed 55 prosecution complaints in two dozen cases before various courts across the country.
Some individuals whose names figured in the list have also declared their hidden income under the provisions of the new anti-black money law called the ‘Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015’, it said.
The data said the court complaints were filed after it was found that these cases qualified as those of “wilful attempt to evade tax.”
In the second instance, the taxman claimed to have detected Rs 8,186 crore of undisclosed income against those whose names figured in the HSBC Geneva list that was obtained by India in 2011 through the French government.
Out of the total 628 cases under this list, the department got “actionable” evidence in 415 cases and assessments have been completed in 398 cases.
The data said “undisclosed income of about Rs 8,186 crore has been brought to tax on account of deposits made in un-reported foreign bank accounts.” The total concealed income detected in the two cases of ICIJ and HSBC lists, that made headlines in the last few years, stands at Rs 13,186 crore, the data said.
The department, it added, has filed 164 prosecution complaints in 75 of the HSBC cases before various courts in the country.
The taxman has also initiated proceedings for penalty imposition in 159 HSBC cases (out of total 398) which amounts to Rs 1,282 crore, it said.
As per a blueprint prepared to take forward action in these cases, the I-T department will pursue over 200 more such prosecution complaints in both these instances of Indians found holding black money abroad.
It said in the ICIJ cases, certain foreign banks acted as “facilitators or master clients” for people who created the offshore entities to evade taxes. A number of strategies have been deployed by the government to combat the stash funds menace, in both overseas and domestic domain, which includes notification of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money, enactment of a new law in this regard last year, amendments in the anti-money laundering Act and operalisation of two compliance windows for people to declare their hidden assets in a one-time fashion.
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