The Income Tax Department has detected undisclosed income worth Rs 22,475 crore in over 9,500 surveys conducted over the past two years, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Friday.
As part of enforcement measures the department has conducted searches in 990 groups of assesses during the last two years (2014-15 and 2015-16), seizing undisclosed assets worth Rs 1,474 crore, he said in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha. “During the same period, 9,547 surveys conducted resulted in detection of undisclosed income of Rs 22,475 crore,” Jaitley said.
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He said there has been a “significant rise” in criminal prosecutions filed by the I-T department in last two years. The number of cases where prosecution complaints were filed and offences were compounded during fiscal year 2014-15 and 2015-16 is 3,140, as against 1,690 during fiscal 2012-13 and 2013-14. The government, Jaitley said, has taken several steps to effectively tackle the issue of black money, particularly black money stashed abroad.
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These include constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT), constitution of a Multi agency group for coordinated probe on Panama leaks, renegotiating tax treaties to bring exchange of financial information clause to global standards, besides introducing the Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Bill to en enable confiscation of such properties and provide for prosecution. “These measures have equipped the government better in curbing the menace of black money,” Jaitley said.
Further, sustained and prompt action taken by the tax department in various cases involving black money has resulted into assessment of substantial amounts of undisclosed income, levy of concealment penalty and filing of criminal prosecution complaints for various offences, he said. Jaitley said that the ongoing Income Disclosure Scheme (IDS) provides for an opportunity to all the persons who have not paid full taxes in the past to come forward and declare the undisclosed income and pay, surcharge and penalty. The scheme is open till September 30.
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Those declaring in IDS will have to pay 25% of tax and penalty on income declared by November, another 25% by March 2017, and the remaining by September 2017.