The tax department may take at least a week to compile the final number of disclosures made under the nation’s biggest black money scheme as they are scrutinising postal declarations to weed out fraudulent filings that may have been made in the name of unsuspecting honest tax payers.
It is doing physical verification by calling up declarants in whose name the disclosures have been filed through post to ensure that no one else has filed them fraudulently, a top official said.
“There can be cases where a person could have filed an application in some other person’s name, disclosing black money,” he said.
“The person in whose name the disclosure has been filed may actually not have any undisclosed income or asset. But he will face unnecessary hassle if the tax department were to take the application on face value and start pursuing a tax demand of 45 per cent on the amount declared,” he added.
The official said that while there isn’t much problem with e-filing through digital signature, it is the disclosures received by posts where there could be some trouble in store.
Doing physical verification of such applications will take sometime and the final number of black money disclosed in the four-month compliance window which ended on September 30 will be known only after that.
“This may take a week to 10 days if not more,” he said.
In the biggest-ever disclosure of hidden wealth, a huge sum of Rs 65,250 crore in black money has been declared by 64,275 declarants through the one-time window. This number will go once the final tabulations are completed, the government had said on October 1.
The four month one-time window ending September 30 under the Income Disclosure Scheme (IDS) provided for a simple declaration to be filed of the income or assets that had previously been not disclosed and on which tax had not been paid. The 45 per cent tax on these disclosures is to be paid subsequently.
The declarants will have to pay tax on this amount in three instalments up to September 30, 2017. At least half of the tax amount will accrue this fiscal.
Government had offered a one-time chance to holders of income and assets that had illegally escaped taxes, to come clean by paying 45 per cent in tax and penalty.
The official further said that the tax department will maintain the secrecy of the disclosures and no enquiry or investigation shall be launched on undisclosed income and assets declared under the scheme even if evidence is found subsequently during search or survey proceedings.
Specific information on declarations will not be shared with anyone including investigating agencies like CBI and official auditor CAG, he added.