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Tax mop-up may decline in new amnesty scheme
December, 29th 2016

The government might receive Rs 5,500 crore as tax by those declaring hitherto undisclosed in the amnesty scheme that closes next March.

The government received Rs 6,800 crore as tax in a scheme that ended in September, lower than the initially expected Rs 7,500 crore.

Those declaring unaccounted wealth till September were allowed to pay 25% of the tax amount in two instalments by November 30 and March 31 and 50% in a third instalment by September 30, 2017. Many evaders paid the entire tax due by using demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, an official said. “Many people have overpaid the first instalment.

Some have even paid the full amount due, while others have paid 50% or 70%. They used this as an opportunity to discard their old notes,” the official added.

Failed Those declaring undisclosed income in the previous scheme had to pay 45% of the declared amount as taxes, penalty and surcharge. Although the government earlier said it had verified disclosures of Rs 67,382 crore, declarations of over Rs 10,000 crore were cancelled. This was higher than the Rs 65,250 crore announced by the government a day after the scheme closed.

“We are expecting a bit over Rs 12,000 crore from the income declaration scheme tax payment in the current financial year, lower than the Rs 15,000 crore expected earlier,” said another official. “Valid declarations stand somewhere around Rs 54,000 crore,” he added.

A Hyderabad-based businessman and his associates declared over Rs 10,000 crore in unaccounted income but defaulted on the first instalment of tax on November 30.

The income tax department carried out a search at their premises. “We will revise the total of black money declared in the scheme,” the official said, adding the government would use the data collected to target tax evaders.

Getting whistleblowers on board, the government has also created an email address to allow people to send information about tax evaders. The email ID, blackmoneyinfo@incometax.gov.in, will be monitored by a cell that will take immediate action on tip-offs.

The new amnesty scheme announced after demonetisation allows payment in old notes till December 30, even though the scheme is open till March 31. The payment, including a 50% tax and a 25% interest-free deposit for four years, will have to be made before filing the declaration.

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