The government today dismissed reports that there will be no prosecution of black money holders if they come forward and make a declaration of their overseas accounts before 2017.
Maintaining that he has been misquoted in his speech made at a chamber of commerce here on Thursday, Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta Das said he had only said that a one-time compliance window for a limited and short period of time will be given.
“The duration of the short period will be worked out and specified in the due course of time,” he said, in a clarification of his remarks.
Das also referred to his Thursday speech and said he had made it clear that the G20 action plan on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) is expected to be finalised this year.
“We will begin to exchange information automatically with each other and with other countries by 2017 or end-2018. So it would be impossible for those who hold accounted money hidden in foreign banks even under the normal circumstances,” he said.
Das was responding to a press release of PHDCCI which had quoted him as saying that “voluntary disclosure of unaccounted money will not be liable for prosecution until 2017”.
“I had addressed members of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) at its post-budget interactive session. The Chamber in its press release misquoted me…” he said.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in his budget speech, had announced that the government would come out with a new law on blackmoney under which it would be mandatory for persons to declare overseas bank accounts and assets to the tax authorities. The new law will also provide for a jail term of up to 10 years for concealment of income.
The action plan for BEPS guidelines, which envisage automatic exchange of information, is likely to be finalised this year by the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).