Home / News / India /  No estimate of exact money deposited by Indian citizens, companies in Swiss banks: Nirmala Sitharaman
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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in a written reply to Lok Sabha on Monday said the government raised a tax demand of 14,820 crore as of May 2022, after completing an assessment of 368 cases under the Black Money law for undisclosed foreign income and assets. The FM said there is no official estimate of the amount of money deposited by Indian citizens and companies in Swiss banks.

According to Sitharaman, as of May 31, 2022, on account of deposits made in unreported foreign bank accounts in the HSBC cases, so far, the undisclosed income of more than 8,468 crore has been brought to tax, and a penalty of more than 1,294 crore has been levied.

Further, FM said, 648 disclosures involving undisclosed foreign assets worth 4,164 crores were made in the one-time three months compliance window, which closed on 30th September 2015, under the Black Money law. The amount collected by way of tax and penalty in such cases was about 2,476 crore.

Sitharaman highlighted that "there is no official estimate of the amount of money deposited by Indian citizens and companies in Swiss banks." However, she said certain recent media reports have stated that funds of Indians in Swiss Banks have risen in 2021 as compared to 2020. These media reports have also mentioned that these deposits do not indicate the quantum of the alleged black money held by Indians in Switzerland.

Following these media reports, Sitharaman cited Swiss Authorities' clarification which said, "the figures published by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) are regularly mentioned in the Indian media as a reliable indicator of the amount of assets held with Swiss financial institutions in respect of Indian residents. More often than not, the media reports have not taken account of the way the figures have to be interpreted, which has resulted in misleading headlines and analyses. Moreover, it is frequently assumed that any assets held by Indian residents in Switzerland are undeclared (so-called ‘Black Money’)."

Also, she said the Swiss authorities had conveyed that the SNB annual banking statistics should not be used for analysing deposits held in Switzerland by residents of India.

She added that a number of concrete and proactive steps have been taken by the Government to bring to tax the undisclosed foreign assets and income in the recent past.

In the context of Switzerland, India is engaging proactively with Switzerland to obtain information in relevant cases under the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement between India and Switzerland, said Sitharaman.

Further, the two countries are signatories to the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters and both countries have also signed the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement pursuant to which, Automatic Exchange of Information is activated between the two countries for sharing of financial account information under Common Reporting Standard (CRS) annually.

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