The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) is coming up with an information hub with a view to fast-tracking money laundering and tax evasion cases and make exchange of tax-related information easier and faster between India and other countries.
The exchange of information unit (EoIU) in New Delhi, a part of the income tax department, will provide and exchange information on issues related to direct taxes — suspicious transactions, tax evasion, money laundering, income generated through business activities by companies in India and abroad, and issues covered under the existing Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA).
India currently has amended DTAAs with 40 nations for sharing bank and tax-related transactions.
"Information will be provided and exchanged between the competent authorities of the two countries, which will be helpful for the newly-created Directorate of Income Tax (Criminal Investigation) in probing cases both in India and abroad," a finance ministry official told HT.
The unit will act as a nodal point, where all information coming to India from other countries including tax havens shall be processed, classified and disseminated to tax authorities across the country. "It’s a two-way process and similar information will be provided to tax authorities abroad," the official said.
The implementation is in the final stage and the board is looking out for a location outside the North Block to set up of the unit. "The software required to operate this unit is ready and once a location is finalised, the unit will be operational," the official said.
However, according to a section of tax officials, the shortage of manpower may affect the functioning of the new unit.