The government on Monday sought to deliver a strong message to black money holders and ruled out any extension of the ongoing compliance window expiring on September 30 for disclosing tax evaded wealth kept abroad by individuals and entities. Central Board of Direct Taxes chairperson Anita Kapur said at a workshop on the new black money law that three months was a long enough period to organise one’s affairs to disclose previously unreported foreign income and assets and pay the 60% tax and penalty for availing immunity from prosecution.
While the disclosure period ends in September, those who avail of the scheme have time till December 31 to make the tax payment. Accepted declaration of hidden foreign wealth will not be admitted as evidence against the assessee for violation of laws dealing with direct taxes, foreign exchange, companies or customs. Tax evaders not availing of the scheme, if caught, are liable to face 120% penalty and 10-year rigorous imprisonment under the black money law.
The government sounded serious on efforts to implement the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) Imposition of Tax Act of 2015, the introduction of which was one of the promises made by the BJP in its election campaign last year. “Soft laws are reflective of a soft state. A clear law, which leaves no room for discretion is the recipe for tackling the menace of black money,” said Kapur at the workshop organised by the accounting rule maker ICAI.