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Home >Politics >Policy >New income disclosure scheme to start 17 December, run till 31 March

New Delhi: Tax evaders can declare their unaccounted income till 31 March under the government’s new income disclosure scheme (IDS), the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana.

The second such income disclosure scheme brought in by the government this year, and the first after the cancellation of old high-value banknotes on 8 November, gives tax evaders another chance to come clean. The first scheme closed on 30 September.

The new IDS was notified along with other provisions of the Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Act, 2016, on Friday and comes into effect from Saturday.

ALSO READ | No estimation of black money before or after 8 November: Arun Jaitley

Under the scheme, a declarant of undisclosed income needs to pay a tax of 30%, a penalty of 10% and a Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Cess of 33% on the tax, all of which add up to around 50%.

In addition, the declarant will have to deposit 25% of the undisclosed income in the zero-interest Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Deposit Scheme for four years. He needs to furnish his permanent account number (PAN) while making his declaration. Part of the proceeds of the scheme will be used for welfare schemes for the poor.

Unlike the earlier income declaration scheme, a tax evader will have to first pay the tax, put money in the deposit scheme and then make a declaration—either online or at an income tax office.

“The government has given such a long window for the declarations because we want people to voluntarily come forward and make their declarations," said revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia.

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“We do not want Inspector Raj. We will use machines and data analytics to look for tax evaders," he added, warning tax evaders that more steps are on the anvil. The government plans to use a professional agency to help it in this task of data mining.

The government will analyse voluminous data on cash deposits in banks till 30 December, Adhia said, adding, “People should not think just because they have deposited their money into a bank account, it has turned white. We are getting information about small and big deposits everyday. Focus is on loan account prepayment in cash, cash deposited in dormant accounts, deposits in multiple accounts of the same person or family members."

Declarations made under the scheme will be kept confidential, and those coming clean will not be prosecuted under other legislations such as Central Excise Act, Wealth Tax Act, Companies Act, etc., Adhia assured.

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There will be no immunity from prosecution under criminal acts like the Prevention of Corruption Act and Prevention of Money Laundering Act, he added.

The government has also encouraged people to come forward with information about tax evaders by emailing such information to blackmoneyinfo@incometax.gov.in.

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