A proposal for One-time Amnesty has been made by the Present Government of BJP for the persons and entities who have taken illegal money (Black money) in the foreign countries. The Bill dealing with such black monies which are kept undisclosed, namely, The Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets (Imposition of New Tax) Bill, 2015 is now cleared by Cabinet on 17th March. Besides such amnesty, the Bill makes provisions to punish the offenders by inflicting upon them penalty including rigorous imprisonment up to ten years.
The Naredra Modi Government dealt with the most important issue relating to Black Money in its Lok Sabha Poll campaign. The Government was attacked many time by opposition for not responding over its promise of not bringing said black money. The said Bill of 2015 is to be presented before Parliament before 20th of this March.
The major issue of bringing Black Money is to make provisions that taking any income and assets at abroad and keeping them hidden and also the tax evasion thereon, is an offence and offender thereof will be liable to be prosecuted. And for such offences, the Bill makes provisions as to punishment extending to maximum imprisonment up to 10 years also there would be levied a penalty in form of 300 per cent of the tax amount. Similarly, the offence under the provisions of this Bill will not be allowed to compound either in general terms or by approaching before any settlement commissions.
If the returns being Income Tax returns will not be filed or if such returns will be filed, but without disclosing adequate foreign assets, then such persons or any entity involved thereof will be liable under the provisions of this Bill, to be punished with rigorous imprisonment of maximum term i.e. seven years. As such the filing of returns showing date of opening of foreign accounts will be mandatory to those who or either owner or beneficiary of such Foreign assets.
Not only Owner of the Black money or assets being an offender will be liable to prosecution and punishment under the provisions of this Bill, but also every individual, corporate entities, banks and financial institutions, etc. will also be held liable for such prosecution and penalty if they found abetting of such offences.
However, as per sources, such One-time compliance opportunity as aforesaid will be provided for a “very short duration of few months” and also it will not include cases already probed by Income Tax Department, including the list of HSBC provided by France, containing the names of Indian HSBC clients and revealed by The Indian Express in an investigation.
by Faim Khalilkhan Pathan.