Black Money Current Affairs - 2020

Lok Sabha passes Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets (Imposition of Tax) Bill, 2015

Lok Sabha on 11 May 2015 passed Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets (Imposition of Tax) Bill, 2015 by a voice vote.

The bill seeks to deal with the menace of black money and to replace the Income Tax (IT) Act, 1961 for the taxation of foreign income.

Salient features of the Bill

Scope- Provisions will applicable to both undisclosed foreign income and assets including financial interest in any entity and the Act will be applicable to all persons resident in India.

Rate of tax– A flat rate of 30 percent tax will be applied to undisclosed foreign income or assets. In case of any carried forward losses, no exemption or deduction or set off will be allowed which may be admissible under the existing IT Act, 1961.

Penalties- Violation will entail stringent penalties. Following are penalties mentioned

  • For nondisclosure of foreign income or assets outside India, penalty will be equal to three times the amount of tax payable i.e. 90 percent of the undisclosed income in addition to tax payable at 30%.
  • In case of failure to furnish return in respect to foreign income or assets, there will be of 10 lakh rupees.

Prosecutions- For various types of violations, the bill proposes enhanced punishment. They are

  • For willful attempt to evade tax, the punishment will be rigorous imprisonment from 3years to 10 years and a fine.
  • In case of failure to furnish a return of foreign assets the punishment will be rigorous imprisonment of 6 months to 7 years with fine.

One-time compliance opportunity

  • It also adds provision of one-time compliance opportunity to persons for limited period who have undisclosed foreign assets that has not been disclosed for the purposes of Income-tax.
  • In this case, such persons will be permitted to file a declaration before a tax authority, and pay a penalty at the rate of 100%.

In order to include offence of tax evasion as a scheduled offence under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, the bill proposes amendment to PMLA, 2002.

Union Cabinet gives nod to black money bill

Union Cabinet has cleared the black money bill to curb the menace of black money in the country. Decision in this regard was taken at the cabinet meeting in New Delhi.

Union Government is seeking to introduce this bill the current budget session of Parliament.

Some provisions of bill

  • The proposed bill gives powers to tax authorities to track and deal with illegal wealth stashed abroad.
  • Under the provisions of the new Bill, the offences related to black money will be non-compoundable and the offenders will not be permitted to approach the Settlement Commission.
  • The bill also has provision of punishment to deal with the black money cases. It proposes penalty at the rate of 300 per cent of taxes to be levied on the concealed income and assets, in addition to 10 years rigorous imprisonment.

Union Cabinet also gave its nod for signing of an agreement with the US on the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The agreement will enable India to acquire information on big foreign transactions and indirectly curb black money stashing.

Apart from these decisions, Union Cabinet also approved to release of 33,000 crore rupees in tranches to states and Union Territories (UTs). These tranches will provide compensation to states and UTs for revenue loss on account of phasing out of Centre Sales Tax, CST for the three financial years up to 2012-2013.