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Take steps to unearth domestic black money: Govt to I-T dept

Parliament recently passed the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Bill, 2015, to deal with black money stashed abroad.

New Delhi: Government on Monday asked income tax department to take steps to unearth domestic black money while keeping a close watch on ponzi schemes, bogus IPOs and other such illegal means of raising money.

The government is determined to fight menace of black money both abroad and inside the country, Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta Das said at the annual conference of Principal Chief Commissioners of Income Tax, Principal Director Generals of Income Tax, Chief Commissioners of Income Tax and Director Generals of Income Tax here.

Parliament recently passed the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Bill, 2015, to deal with black money stashed abroad.

"Our goal for all officers is to give equal emphasis on domestic black money. A number of initiatives have been taken but having said that there are three or fours areas that I would like to mention.

"One, that we need to be very alert if there are ponzi schemes and if there are aggressive schemes which are unregulated and result in cheating the poor citizens of the country," Das said.

Officers need to be very alert and if there are such schemes coming up then it needs to be referred to the respective regulatory agencies whether at state level or Reserve Bank level apart from taking deterrent action or taking effective action from tax point of view, he added.

The second area, he said, where the Department has initiated lot of action is with regard to bogus IPOs and accommodation entry cases. "We have been able to identify a large number of cases. All these cases need to be taken to a logical conclusion," he said.

With regard to the HSBC list, Das said, "All the assessment which require to be completed before March 31, they have been completed. Thanks to international cooperation and thanks to the initiative taken by the government in the recent months we were able to get a lot of other additional information from other countries and foreign jurisdiction."

This has opened up new areas of investigation, he said, adding, "all these cases, all these areas I would emphasise that investigation need to be completed expeditiously and finally."

Das also asked tax officials to effectively share information with Central Economic Intelligence Bureau to check tax evasion and fraud.

With regard to direct tax collection target, Das said, "The target of 7.98 lakh crore, that has been set in 2015-16, is very much achievable, it is a very realistic target, aligned with the kind of GDP growth which has been forecast in the economic survey and it is also based on our internal analysis and past and historical trends."

The fiscal deficit target is very sacrosanct, he said, adding that the target of 3.9 per cent will be achievable if the department is able to deliver on the targets.

On alignment of corporate tax with global rate of 25 per cent, he said, "the CBDT is working on a strategy paper for elimination of exemptions (on corporate tax) ... We should announce the roadmap in the course of this year to eliminate the exemptions in a phased manner...Exemptions are the root cause, in fact they are the main reasons for majority of tax disputes."