With the aim of curbing Benami transactions and property, the Income Tax Department is now encouraging people to share any information to unearth black money and reduce tax evasion through a new reward scheme titled “Income Tax Informants Reward Scheme, 2018”. This scheme has turned out to be a very lucrative one for the tax informants as they can earn up to Rs 5 crore. The ‘Income Tax Informants Reward Scheme, 2018′ will supersede all the previous reward schemes, the Income Tax Department announced.
1. Under this Scheme, a person can get reward for giving specific information in prescribed manner about substantial tax evasion on income and assets abroad which are actionable under Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015.
2. As per the revised Income Tax Informants Rewards Scheme 2018, if a person shares “specific information” with the income tax department about any Benami transaction or property, he/she could earn up to Rs one crore whereas information on undisclosed black money stashed abroad could fetch up to Rs 5 crore for the informant.
3. Information under this scheme has to be given in prescribed manner to the Director General of Income Tax (Investigation) or an officer whom he may authorize in this behalf.
4. Foreigners will also be eligible for reward under this scheme. The amount has been kept high to make it attractive to potential sources in foreign countries.
5. Identity of the persons giving information will not be disclosed and strict confidentiality shall be maintained.
Details of the reward scheme are available in the Benami Transactions Informants Reward Scheme, 2018 and its copy is available in income tax offices and on the official website of the IT department.
The government of India had earlier introduced Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015, in order to investigate and assess income and specific assets kept in foreign countries by people taxable in India, recover tax on it and take other actions like penalty and prosecution.
What is Benami property
A property that is purchased by an individual in some other name than his is called Benami property. It can include property held in the name of spouse or child for which the amount is paid out of known sources of income. The transaction involved in the same is called Benami transaction.