Reveal black money or face stiff action: IT department issues notice

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IT department warning to black money holders
IT department warning to black money holders

Bengaluru : The Income Tax Department on Monday warned black money hoarders of punitive action if they do not deposit their unaccounted cash, held in bank deposits or in new currency, under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyana Yojana (PMGKY) by March 31.

"We have details of all who have deposited huge sums of unaccounted cash in banks or having it in new currency notes with them. As we have informed each of them to come clean on their undisclosed income, stringent action will be taken if they fail to comply with our directive to make use of the PMGKY scheme," Bengaluru Chief Commissioner of Income Tax Bishwanath Jha told reporters here.

After the November 8 demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, the central government unveiled the PMGKY amnesty scheme from December 16, 2016 to March 31, 2017 for declaring unaccounted wealth (black money) and avoiding prosecution by paying a fine of 50 per cent on the undisclosed income.

The amount deposited in the scheme is refundable after four years without interest.

"The scheme is the last opportunity for tax evaders or tax dodgers to declare their unaccounted income held by them in cash or bank deposits," said Karnataka Chief Commissioner of Income Tax Nutan Wodeyar.

If the defaulters comply with the department's directive to disclose, the fine will be 49.9 per cent of their undisclosed income.

"If defaulters don't avail the scheme but offer to disclose their unaccounted wealth in income tax returns, the fine will be 77.25 per cent of the income and 83.25 per cent of their income if caught during assessment after March 31," said Jha.

B.R. Balakrishnan, Director-General of Income Tax (Investigation) in the Karnataka and Goa region, said if offenders were caught with undisclosed income in a search operation, they would be fined 107.25 per cent of the income if they agree to pay and 137.25 per cent of the income if they do not offer to pay during the search.

"We have detected undisclosed income of Rs 4,828 crore in search operations post-demonetisation in Karnataka and Goa region, which is the highest in the country," claimed Balakrishnan.

The Income Tax sleuths also found that cooperative banks in the region did not disclose details on transactions worth Rs 9,000 crore between November 10 and December 31, 2016.

"Of the 307 cooperative banks, 264 banks have filed information in response to our notices by January 31, 2017," said Commissioner of Income Tax (Investigation) R. Ravichandran.