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Government using information from various nations to check tax evasion
July, 23rd 2014

The government on Tuesday said it is effectively using the information received from various countries to combat the menace of tax evasion and avoidance.

"Effectively utilising the information received from treaty partners to combat tax evasion and avoidance," Minister of State for Finance Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

Drive against tax evasion is an ongoing process, she said, adding that whenever tax evasion is detected either through domestic or cross border transactions, appropriate action under direct tax laws including investigation of tax evasion, assessment of income, raising tax demand and launching prosecution in appropriate cases is taken.

Various steps have been taken to further strengthen and streamline the processes and systems including capacity building of the workforce through training and sensitisation on issues relating to unaccounted money kept abroad, she said.

In another reply, Sitharaman said, there is no specific information to suggest that global Participatory Notes (PNs) are one of the main causes of the generation of black money.

There is no proposal is under consideration at present for abolition of global PNs, he added.

In a separate reply, she said that at present there is no provision which "recognises the lawful claims of the victims of Ponzi schemes on funds confiscated under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)".

There is no proposal to make changes in the PMLA in this regard, she added.

Replying to a question Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said Global Financial Integrity report estimated that between 1948 and 2008, a total amount of $213.2 billion had been shifted out of India through illicit outflows.

The government of India has signed a number of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs) and Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) with various countries, he said.

"Under these agreements, information as is foreseeably relevant for administration or enforcement of the domestic laws concerning taxes in specific cases can be received from our treaty partners," he added.

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