Cabinet approves Bill to unearth black money

The Union Cabinet recently approved a Bill that seeks harsh penalties and rigorous imprisonment for those having unaccounted money abroad. The Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets (Imposition of Tax) Bill provides for a penalty of up to 300 per cent of tax amounts evaded, in addition to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment.

Details of the Bill:

  • The Bill proposes mandatory filing of returns for owners or beneficiaries of foreign assets. Failure to make the disclosures is punishable with a jail term of seven years.
  • The Bill also gives a short window to offenders to declare wealth, pay taxes & penalty and escape prosecution.
  • The Bill also seeks to make non-compoundable the offence of stashing away unaccounted money abroad. Besides, the offenders will not be allowed to approach the Settlement Commission.
  • The Bill also says income in relation to any undisclosed foreign asset or undisclosed income from any foreign asset be taxable at the maximum marginal rate, 30% plus surcharges. Any exemption and deduction will be disallowed and that beneficial owner or beneficiary of foreign assets will be required to file return, even if there is no taxable income.

Sources: The Hindu.

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