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No need to make tax evasion criminal offence

The government can do without making tax evasion a criminal offence as the existing income tax laws, which provide for rigorous imprisonment up to seven years for wilful default, has not been used effectively to unearth black money, say experts.

“One can be jailed for seven years (rigorous imprisonment) for wilful evasion of tax (above Rs 1 lakh).

However, it is implementation of law that needs to be made effective. The Government has not used these provisions effectively”, said Rahul Garg, Executive Director, Tax and Regulatory Services, PwC.

Expressing a similar opinion, Uday Ved, Head Tax, KPMG said, “in certain situations, it is still a criminal offence.

There are provisions of imprisonment from three months to 7 years…In my career of 25 years, I haven’t seen anyone going to jail for income tax lapses”

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