Black money: In HSBC list, SIT finds 427 ‘actionable’ cases

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Published: December 13, 2014 8:59:33 AM

SIT on black money has found that of 628 persons on the so-called HSBC list, only 427 persons’ cases are actionable with the amount involving Rs 4,479 cr.

The special investigation team (SIT) on black money has found that of the 628 persons on the so-called HSBC list, only 427 persons’ cases are actionable with the amount involving Rs 4,479 crore.

In its second report submitted to the Supreme Court early this month, the SIT said that the central board of direct taxes (CBDT) has already directed its officials to finalise the assessment for these cases.

The income tax department has finalised assessment of 79 assessees and an amount of Rs 2,926 crore has already been brought to tax towards the undisclosed balances in the accounts relating to them. The department has levied tax and interest while the penalty proceedings under the Income Tax Act have already been initiated in 46 cases.

This is the first time that the Centre has disclosed details about the amount held in Swiss banks by Indian citizens.

“Such penalties have been levied in 3 cases so far. With regard to the other assessees, proceedings are pending,” the SIT said in its report, parts of which were released by the finance ministry on Friday.

Prosecution proceedings have been launched in six cases of wilful attempt to evade taxes.

In October, the Supreme Court had asked the Centre to hand over the HSBC list to the SIT, which already had the list, and has asked the investigating team to submit a status report, which was done on December 3.

Of the 628 names that figured on a list of account holders in HSBC’s Geneva branch that India had got from the French government, 201 are either non-residents or non-traceable while amounts are mentioned only against 339 persons. “Showcause notices for filing prosecution have been issued in 10 more cases and further action would be taken at the earliest,” the SIT has said in the report.

Further, apart from the cases of income tax department, other agencies including the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and the Enforcement Directorate  (ED) are probing cases of unaccounted wealth totalling Rs 14,958 crore within India.

Earlier on Friday, finance minister Arun Jaitley had said that proceedings in the cases related to the HSBC list will be completed by March 31, 2015.

To weed out fake invoices by exporters and importers, the SIT has suggested an institutional mechanism on the lines of the Data Analysis and Research for Trade Transparency System in the US.

This system analyses trade and financial data to identify cases of mismatch that may warrant an investigation for money laundering.

The SIT has also suggested that to further curtail the practice of under-invoicing, the shipping bills should ask for the international market price of the consignment exported.

Making a case for mandatory declaration of PAN for all sales above Rs 1 lakh, the SIT said that the purchaser should also be required to disclose one’s identity — either PAN or Aadhaar number — for transactions above the same threshold.

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