The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) is likely to issue a fresh notification making it clear that information about those who declare their black money under the compliance window which ends on 30 September will be kept secret, a senior official said on Thursday.
The notification is expected to quote provisions of section 138 of the Income Tax Act which states that taxpayer related information is confidential and cannot be shared, the official said. “The department is getting maximum queries with regard to the confidentiality factor under the Income Declaration Scheme (IDS) or the one-time domestic black money compliance window.
A notification that assures that such a data received will be kept secret will soon be published,” the official said. Trade associations have also taken up the issue during their meeting with finance minister Arun Jaitley recently.
“The notification will give legal sanctity to the word of the government. The CBDT is expected to soon issue the notification,” the official said. The IDS is open for four months, between 1 June and 30 September and the CBDT and the I-T department have introduced a number of measures to make it a success.
The CBDT has so far issued three sets of clarifications on Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to clear doubts and answer queries about the IDS. The department has also published a country-wide list of registered asset valuers for those who wish to declare their untaxed funds and properties under this window.
The CBDT has also directed the taxman to step up publicity by advertising about the IDS at posh markets, clubs and showrooms. Besides, it has promised full privacy would be ensured for those making disclosures for better collections.
Under the scheme, the declarants will have to pay a total of 45% in tax and penalty by November this year. Individuals and entities making disclosures will have immunity from prosecution. The IDS was announced with an aim to flush out black money from the domestic economy.
It will apply to undisclosed income whether in the form of investment in assets or otherwise, pertaining to financial year 2015-16 or earlier. Declarations under IDS can either be made online on the official e-filing website of the tax department or before various regional Principal Commissioners of I-T department.