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Declarations under blackmoney window to remain confidential

Published On : 03 Sep 2015

New Delhi, (PTI): Government today promised confidentiality of information furnished under the black money compliance window and said declarations for years for which bank statements are unavailable can be made on best estimate basis.

Issuing the second set of 27 FAQs on voluntary disclosures to be made in the 90-day compliance window ending September 30, the Finance Ministry provided a detailed methodology for computation of value of foreign properties, shares and other financial and non-financial assets.

It also detailed treatment of income of non-residents after moving back to the country and as well as applicability of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) provisions.

Responding to questions on confidentiality of information disclosed under the compliance window, it said, "the information in respect of declaration made is confidential as in the case of the return of income filed by the assessees."

For periods for which bank statements of foreign accounts were unavailable, the FAQ said, "the person may compute the value (of account) of such period on best estimate basis."

The account holder, however, will have to furnish a certificate of the bank or any other evidence to the effect that the details are not available.

At the same time, the government cautioned that if it was found later that the value of bank account was different from what had been declared, the immunity from higher penalties and jail term will only be to the extent of the declaration made.

For non-residents who receive pension for the period of employment in foreign country, the FAQs said the accretions to such accounts after he became residents will have to be disclosed as it will be chargeable to tax in India.

The Blackmoney (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax provides for tax and penalty of 120 per cent and jail term of up to 10 years for holding undisclosed foreign assets. It provided a 90-day compliance window to escape the harsh punishment by declaring the assets and paying 60 per cent tax and penalty.

The Finance Ministry issued 32 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the compliance window on July 6, and came out with the second set today.

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