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Stringent terms of declaration makes black money law a no escape law

MUMBAI: Black money rules have stunned many who were looking for the tax evasion and for a chance to escape the situation of disclosing their money. The law is complex, imposes tax on money that has been spent and sparks new fears ” not the kind of deal that people with Swiss bank accounts and offshore properties were fishing for. Even those who became NRI to avoid the provisions of law would find it difficult to wriggle out of the tax regime.

“It’s impossible for a resident to have details of each and every deposit made in a bank account since the account was opened. Foreign banks are not co-operating in giving bank statements beyond 5 years, As per the provisions of The Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act 2015 and Rules, individuals who want to buy peace by paying 60 per cent of the amount as tax and penalty have to disclose the date of opening the bank account, country of location, account number and every deposit made from the date of opening the account till the valuation date.

Properties acquired abroad will be taxed on the basis of a valuation report of a valuer who is recognised by the government of that country. ”

Under Income Tax Act the tax department can go back up to 16 years whereas under the Black Money law (which prescribes no time limit) the resident is expected to disclose assets for a period beyond 16 years also. This could be 20, 30 or even 40 years depending on when an account was opened. Some of the accountholders in the Liechtenstein bank LGT had opened accounts in the late 1960s and 1970s. “Foreign banks don’t have account details beyond 10 years.

If anyone, even by mistake, makes an incorrect declaration, then the entire declaration will be treated as null and void. The tax and penalty paid will not be refunded and the information given in the form will be used against the person for initiating proceedings.

Under the Income Tax Act 1961. Also, after filling up the form to spell out overseas bank accounts and assets, the taxman may tell the person that the government already knows about the undisclosed assets. So, if the state has information about someone’s bank account but not about the properties, the form has to be revised to avoid action under the Anti-Money Laundering Law.

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