Imagine if the government offers you a chance to get Rs 5 crore in just six months. Yes! you heard it right. The Narendra Modi government is giving a chance to the people to earn this whopping amount, but there is a catch. The government wants you to be its informant. All you need to do is to help the Income Tax Department get hold of tax evaders and black money holders. The Central Board of Direct Tax (CBDT) on June 1, 2018, revamped its reward scheme and raised the prize money to up to Rs 5 crore. To receive this unbelievable amount, an informant has to give specific information about a person who is a tax evader or a black money holder.
Under the revised scheme, a person can get reward up to Rs. 50 lakh for giving specific information in a prescribed manner to the designated officers of Investigation Directorates in the Income Tax Department. However, you need to remember that any false information may lead you into trouble.
Income-Tax Informants Reward Scheme 2018:
The ITI Reward Scheme 2018 was announced by the Modi government in April 2018. Under the scheme, an informant is rewarded for providing information on undisclosed income or assets and data related to tax evasion under Black Money Act, 2015 and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015. Also, the ‘Benami Transactions Informants Reward Scheme 2018’ regulates the granting and the payment of a reward to the informer on benami properties.
A person, under the ITI reward scheme 2018, gets a reward up to Rs 5 crore for providing specific information about black money, while BTI reward scheme 2018 gives up to Rs 1 crore for the information. However, it does not mean that if the person gives information under both the schemes, they will get a reward of Rs 6 crore. The reward prize cannot exceed Rs 5 crore.
According to a press release by the government, the amount has been kept high to make it attractive to potential sources in foreign countries. Under this Scheme, a person can get a reward for giving specific information in a 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.
Who can inform the government and how?
The informant can be an individual or a group of people who can deliver accurate information to the I-T department about the tax evasion of Rs 5 crore or more. The information can also be about one or more immovable or movable benami assets worth Rs 1 crore or more. All the information need to be backed by proper documents by the informant.
The person who has any information regarding the tax evasion or black money needs to contact the Director General of Income Tax (Intelligence). Meanwhile, for those who have information under the BTI reward scheme can approach the joint commissioner of income tax.
The informant needs to fill a form under both the schemes and submit it to the Income Tax Department along with the documents. In the form, the informer has to provide details like father’s name, address, Aadhaar, contact number along with data such as the amount of black money, parties involved, address of the assets, etc.
What is the reward process?
The Central Board of Direct Tax (CBDT) has different reward slabs which are based on the information given and the value of the assets. The reward will be paid in two stages – interim and final.
Types of information:
1- Undisclosed foreign income or assets liable under Black Money Act, 2015: Informant will get maximum of up to Rs 50 lakh as an interim reward. The final reward will be up to Rs 5 crore. However, the final reward will be 10 per cent of additional tax levied and realized.
2- Undisclosed income or assets liable under Income Tax Act, 2015: Interim reward would be of up to Rs 5 lakh while up to Rs 50 lakh as the final prize. In the final reward, 5 per cent of additional tax will be levied and realized.
3- Unaccounted or undisclosed cash exceeding Rs 1 crore, under Section 132 of Income Tax Act 1961: The maximum interim amount is up to Rs 15 lakh while the maximum final reward is up to Rs 1 crore with 5 per cent of additional tax levied and realized.
The interim reward will be paid within four months of relevant assessment of the information, while the final reward will be paid within six months of confiscation of the benami property.