The self-declaration of undeclared foreign assets, during a ‘one-time compliance opportunity’, will attract a lower penalty of 30 per cent – as against 90 per cent outside this short window, as per the proposed black money law.
The penalty in both cases would be over and above a 30 per cent tax on undisclosed assets.
Those disclosing their assets during this window, duration of which would be notified later, would also be spared of prosecution under stringent provisions of the new law that would have up to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment.
Releasing details of the Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets (Imposition of Tax) Bill, 2015, introduced in Lok Sabha on Friday, the Finance Ministry said the Bill provides “a one-time compliance opportunity for a limited period to persons who have any undisclosed foreign assets which have hitherto not been disclosed for the purposes of income-tax.
“Such persons may file a declaration before the specified tax authority within a specified period, followed by payment of tax at the rate of 30 per cent and an equal amount by way of penalty.
Outside this window, a tax would be levied at a flat rate of 30 per cent, while the penalty would be 90 per cent of the undisclosed income.
“It is to be noted that this is not an amnesty scheme as no immunity from penalty is being offered. It is merely an opportunity for persons to come clean and become compliant before the stringent provisions of the new Act come into force.”
The Bill, which has been introduced as part of the government’s efforts to deal with black money stashed away abroad, provides that any undisclosed foreign income or assets will be taxed at the flat rate of 30 per cent.
The violation of the provisions of the proposed new legislation will entail stringent penalties, the Ministry said, while adding that the penalty for non-disclosure of income or an asset located outside India will be equal to three times the amount of tax payable thereon, that is 90 per cent of the undisclosed income or the value of the undisclosed asset.
“This is in addition to tax payable at 30 per cent,” it added.
Failure to furnish return in respect of foreign income or assets will also attract a penalty of Rs 10 lakh.
This penalty has been prescribed for cases where although the assessee has filed a return of income, but he has not disclosed the foreign income and asset or has furnished inaccurate particulars of the same.