Bill to deal with black money abroad gets approval

There would be a short compliance window for the persons having undisclosed income abroad to come clean by paying 30% tax and 30% penalty, says the Union Finance Minister.

 The Dollar Business Bureau Black Money The lower house of the Parliament, Lok Sabha, on Monday, passed the Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets (UFI&A) (Imposition of Tax) Bill, 2015, which would further deal with the black money stashed overseas. The Bill was passed in Lok Sabha amidst Opposition’s demand to forward the Bill to a Standing Committee. Rejecting the Opposition’s demand, Arun Jaitley, Union Finance Minister, said, “Delay in enacting the legislation would provide the offenders an opportunity to transfer their unaccounted wealth to the unknown destinations.” There would be a short compliance window for the undisclosed income holders which would provide them an opportunity to come clean by paying 30% tax and 30% penalty, informed the Minister speaking at the debate session before the passage of the Bill. For those who wish to come clean, the compliance window process would be in two parts, which involves declaration of assets covering the first part and paying 30% tax and 30% penalty as the second part. Once the compliance window period is closed, anyone found with undeclared overseas wealth will have to pay 30% tax, 90% penalty and further face criminal prosecution, he added. The Minister further expressed hope that the law would help the government in bringing black money in the declared economy, improve tax collections and would eventually facilitate lowering of tax rates. Stating that the Bill passed is only to deal with the black money stashed abroad, the Minister informed that a benami bill will soon be brought before the Cabinet to deal with the black money domestically. The Minister further said this law will act as deterrent and help us in bringing back the illegal assets and in also further declaring the illegal asset holders. This law also has a provision for attachment of equivalent properties in India, he added. Further pointing out the supposed wrong-goings because of the stringent measures under the law, the Minister informed that the statutory guidelines to ensure that students, NRIs and others are not harassed, would also be issued under the protection measures of the Act.    

May 12, 2015 | 1:54 pm IST.