Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on October 1 announced that according to tabulated data, a total of 64,274 citizens have declared income tax under the Income Declaration Scheme and the amount that they have disclosed is Rs 65,250 crore, collectively under the domestic black money compliance scheme. Jaitley also pressed on the issue of black money and said that the government is taking steps on curbing tax evasions in the country. Jaitley added that the declaration figure is tentative and may be revised to a greater figure once the final tabulation is created, as Rs 8,000 crore have been assessed out of HSBC list. The Income Declaration Scheme (IDS) was available for a four-month period which started from June 1 and ended on September 30. The Indian government has on many occasions emphasised on the scheme which gives people an opportunity, to declare their undisclosed income and assets, especially those who did not pay full taxes.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had asked its principal Chief Commissioners to keep the IDS counters open until midnight of September 30 so that people can declare undisclosed income online and also in printed form. The Income Tax Department had warned of strict legal actions against the people who failed to declare their income and assets under IDS and depending on the severity of the fault, the punishment can be a heavy fine of 100-300 percent and/or a jail term of three months to seven years. Jaitley said that this scheme was not like the 1997 Voluntary Disclosure of Income Scheme (VDIS) in which the government had collected Rs 9,760 crore. Instead, the tax collected from the IDS 2016 will go into Consolidated Fund of India and will be used for people’s welfare. The tax rate and the penalty is stated at 45 % and given the current tabulate data that has been presented, it can get the government around Rs 30,000.
The rush of declarants of black money peaked on the last day, according to PTI, which kept the IT officials busy. Apart from Online submissions, there were plenty of people to be seen across counters where forms were available for the declaration. The government had ensured the people about complete confidentiality on the declarations made. The first instalment of 25 % under the IDS this year will have to be paid by November, and another 25 % by March 31, next year.
(with agency inputs)