A huge sum of Rs 65,250 crore in black money was declared through the one-time declaration window, marking the biggest-ever disclosure of hidden wealth that will rake in Rs 29,362 crore in taxes to the exchequer.
While the black money declarations may go up further once all the online and manual filings of undisclosed assets filed at the end of the four-month window on September 30 are compiled, the government will get this fiscal nearly Rs 14,700 crore or half of the total taxes due.
Making the announcement about the declarations made under the Income Declaration Scheme (IDS), Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said 64,275 declarants disclosed an amount totalling Rs 65,250 crore.
“Some disclosures have not been tabulated... This figure could be revised upward once the final tabulation is done,” he told a news conference here.
"I compliment Finance Minister Arun Jaitly and his team at the Finance Ministry for the hard work resulting in the successful outcome of IDS-2016, he also tweeted.
Excepts from Arun Jaitley's press conference in Delhi on the outcome of the Income Declaration Scheme 2016 (IDS-2016)-
# Rs 65,250 cr undeclared income and asset declared under the domestic blackmoney compliance scheme.
# Under tabulation 64,275 declarants and the amount they have disclosed collectively Rs. 65250 cr.
# More people are wanting to become tax compliant
# 64, 275 declarations recd till midnight of 30.9.2016. Number likely to increase as final tabulation still underway.
# Black money declaration figure could be revised upwards once final tabulation is made; 64,275 disclosures made.
# Rs 8,000 cr have been assessed out of HSBC list.
# We decided that the non-compliant will have to pay more tax than the compliant.
# There has been substantial upgradation in @IncomeTaxIndia's capability for income detection.
# Govt has taken many steps in last 2.5 years to improve tax compliance & stop tax evasion.
# Rs. 56,378 crore undetected income uncovered through search operations.
# Government has taken to steps to curb tax evasion.
# Jaitley enumerates various steps taken by Govt. to improve tax compliance and check tax evasion.
# Benami Act was changed completely, an issue which was pending for years.
# Constitution of SIT to curb black money was the first such step.
# One-time window was not an amnesty scheme like the 1997 one,
# The tax collected in the 1997 Voluntary Disclosure of Income Scheme (VDIS) was Rs 9,760 crore with an average declaration of Rs 7 lakh.
# The tax collected from the Income Declaration Scheme (IDS) 2016 will go into the Consolidated Fund of India and will be used for larger welfare of people.
Government had offered a one-time chance to holders of income and assets that had illegally escaped taxes, to come clean by paying 45 per cent in tax and penalty.
On the declarations compiled so far, the government will get Rs 29,362.5 crore in tax and penalty. The declarants can pay this amount in two installments up to September 30, 2017. Half or Rs 14,681.25 crore will accrue this fiscal.
Last year, under a similar scheme for foreign black money holders, 644 declarations of undisclosed foreign income and assets were received, and just Rs 2,428 crore was collected in taxes.
“We will maintain secrecy of these declarations,” Jaitley said, adding the tax would accrue to the Consolidated Fund of India and would be used for welfare of public.
The average declaration per declarant comes to Rs 1 crore. A total tax of Rs 9,760 crore was collected under the Voluntary Income Disclosure Scheme (VIDS) amnesty scheme brought by the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram in 1997.
“In 1997, the tax collected was Rs 9,760 crore,” Jaitley said, adding that VDIS and IDS cannot be compared as the two schemes are different.
While IDS is not an amnesty scheme, VDIS provided blanket amnesty, he said. Taxation under IDS is charged at the rate of 45 per cent while the effective rate of tax in the 1997 scheme was in single digit.
Jaitley also listed out the steps taken by the government to unearth unaccounted money in over two years, including Rs 56,378 crore during search operation and Rs 16,000 crore from non-filers of tax returns.
The four-month IDS was opened on June 1. (Read the story in Hindi here)
Watch the Press conference Video here:
With inputs from PTI