More than Rs 71,000 crore of undisclosed income has been declared under the one-time disclosure window IDS, chartered accountants’ apex body ICAI said today – giving an amount much higher than the initial figures announced by the government.
The four-month Income Declaration Scheme (IDS) is a one-time opportunity to those with hidden income to come clean by making the disclosure and paying 45 per cent tax and penalty. After the end of the window on September 30, the government had pegged the disclosed amount at Rs 65,250 crore, while adding that the final figures may go up on further tabulation.
“More than Rs 71,000 crore (worth undisclosed income) has been disclosed under the IDS as per latest available information,” ICAI President M Devaraja Reddy said here at a press conference.
The number of assesses who disclosed their assets under the scheme is more than 64,000, he added.
Reddy said the information is from the CBDT and “the amount could go up and not come down”.
On October 1, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that as much as Rs 65,250 crore of blackmoney was declared under IDS.
Jaitley had also said 64,275 declarations were made in the four-month window and this figure could go up once all the declarations filed online and manually are compiled.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) was actively involved in spreading awareness about IDS.
When asked whether non-taxpayers also made disclosures under the scheme, Reddy replied in the affirmative.
“My observation of my friends who have been doing taxation, 40-60 per cent (of people who participated in the IDS) are non filers,” he said.
“We are having more than 10 lakh assesses and when over 64,000 come (participates in IDS), then most of our taxpayers are very honest,” he added.
According to him, the declarants can be broadly classified into two categories – those are regularly paying income tax but have not paid properly and the other class is of those who have not paid income tax at all.
“Earlier, there was a feeling that chartered accountants were not supporting this scheme… we are verifying everything and explaining things to the assesses.
“Our role is only advisory. It is our duty to explain to the assesses. We are certifying only that which is correct,” he added.
On lapses in making proper disclosures, Reddy sought to put the onus on tax practitioners who are not qualified chartered accountants, stating that “some people who don’t have knowledge” are also there.
“(With regard to tax filings) there are lapses. There are many tax practitioners who are not CAs but who have done BCom, who have done LLB but not having good practice in High Courts. An LLB person wants to go to court, become High Court judge, Supreme Court judge.
“Those who don’t have capabilities come to do book keeping… This class has become more. They don’t have any control and don’t have any disciplinary mechanism there. They are also not having upgradation of skills,” Reddy said.
The ICAI President also said ignorance of some IT practitioners and greed of small business people resulted in lapses.