P Chidambaram warns tax dodgers, rules out amnesty
"No. In income tax there is no case for amnesty. Because now almost all returns are online except a small category which was exempt. We have a huge amount of data which is being mined. Therefore, there is no case for amnesty today.
"Best case I can make out is tell people 'please don't hide your income'. Just admit your income and pay tax and be a proud citizen," he said.
He was asked whether government would consider giving an amnesty to tax defaulters to unearth an estimated huge amount of black money on the lines of amnesty given to service tax defaulters announced in the budget.
Chidambaram pointed out that no tax burden had been imposed in the budget on any category of people other than a "small burden" of 10 per cent surcharge on relatively affluent 42,800 people with incomes of over Rs one crore a year, he pointed out today.
That number was deliberately used to "shock" the nation that in this country "which swears by truth and virtue" there are only 42,800 people who admit an income of over Rs one crore, he said.
Dispelling apprehensions that the tax could continue beyond one year, the Minister said, "surcharges have been imposed in the past and they have been removed".
He gave the instances of removal of banking cash transaction tax and
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