People exempted from questioning for depositing up to Rs2.5 lakh in bank accounts could be prosecuted if they are found to have helped in turning black money into white
In yet another flip-flop, the finance ministry on Friday said artisans, workers and housewives earlier exempted from questioning for depositing up to Rs2.5 lakh in their bank accounts could be prosecuted if they are found to have helped in turning black money into white.
Revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia had said earlier that tax authorities will not question such categories of people for depositing old currencies of ₹ 500 and ₹ 1,000 below the taxable income level of ₹ 2.5 lakh.
The finance ministry, in a statement, said it had received reports that some people were depositing in their accounts black money belonging to others in return for a reward.
“It is hereby clarified that such tax evasion activities can be made subject to income tax and penalty if it is established that the amount deposited in the account holder was not of the account holder but of somebody else. Also the person who allows his or her account to be misused for this purpose can be prosecuted for abetment under Income Tax Act," it said.
The finance ministry clarified that people holding their own household savings in cash and depositing it into their bank accounts will not be questioned.
The finance ministry urged people not to abet the crime of converting black money into white. “Unless all citizens of the country help the government in curbing black money, this mission...will not succeed," it said.
It requested people to give information about such illegal activities to the tax authorities so that immediate action could be taken and illegal transfers of cash can be stopped.
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