With an aim to encourage people to share information about the benami transactions and properties, the Modi government on Friday announced a reward of up to Rs 1 crore under a revised scheme. The ‘Income Tax Informants Reward Scheme, 2018 ‘ will supersede all the previous reward schemes, the income tax department announced. “Under the Benami Transactions Informants Reward Scheme, 2018, a person can get reward up to Rs. One crore for giving specific information in prescribed manner to the Joint or Additional Commissioners of Benami Prohibition Units (BPUs) in Investigation Directorates of Income Tax Department about benami transactions and properties as well as proceeds from such properties which are actionable under Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988, as amended by Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016,” a Finance Ministry press release said.
Even the citizens belonging to other countries will also be eligible for such reward. The government also assured that the identity of the whistleblower will be kept safe and strict confidentiality about his details would 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 Finance Ministry said.
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.
The amount has been kept high to make it attractive to potential sources in foreign countries. 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.
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.