Even as the last date of the income disclosure scheme (IDS) — a government-provided opportunity for those holding unaccounted money to come out clean — draws closer, the tax department has sent out mails exhorting people to make the most of it to avoid penal action.
The mails were addressed to people who have made large transactions or investments disproportionate to their sources of income, government officials said. The four-month compliance window under the IDS for voluntary disclosure of domestic black money ends on September 30. With just a few days left, the government is anxious to make it a success.
The tax department has sourced information on these people as well as their transactions from banks and property registration authorities across the states over the last six years. It reportedly has a list of more than 90 lakh non-PAN transactions.
“The letter is not intended to offend anybody. It does not even mention the transaction that led to its issuance. We have just advised citizens to pay taxes if they haven’t done so,” an official from the tax department said.
Banks regularly share data on transactions categorised as suspicious with the government. All cash transactions of `10 lakh or above are recorded, and investigation agencies notified.
The government has already issued a warning that those caught with black money after the expiry of the scheme will face stringent action, including imprisonment.
“The tax department has been sending mailers to many as a reminder, and it should not be taken otherwise… Once the scheme is over, those holding illegal money will land in trouble. Those who have erroneously received the mailers need not worry,” said Manoj Fadnis, former president, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
The Narendra Modi government had launched IDS-2016 on June 1 with a promise that no inquiry would be made into the source of undisclosed income and assets if they are declared voluntarily. Those wishing to avail this scheme would have to pay 30% tax, plus a penalty of 7.5% and a similar 7.5% surcharge – adding up to 45%.