Sharing “specific information” with the income tax department about any benami transaction or property could earn you up to Rs one crore, while the same for undisclosed black money stashed abroad could fetch up to Rs 5 crore.
Besides, the ‘Income Tax Informants Reward Scheme’ has also been amended under which a person can get reward up to Rs 50 lakh for giving specific information about substantial evasion of tax on income or assets in India, which are actionable under the Income-tax Act, 1961.
The CBDT today announced Benami Transactions Informants Reward Scheme, 2018, under which any person, including foreigners, can inform Joint or Additional Commissioners about benami transactions and properties which can be tried under the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016.
This reward scheme is aimed at encouraging people to give information about benami transactions and properties as well as income earned on such properties by such hidden investors and beneficial owners, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said.
“Under the Benami Transactions Informants Reward Scheme, 2018, a person can get reward up to Rs one crore for giving specific information in prescribed manner to the Joint or Additional Commissioners of Benami Prohibition Units (BPUs) in Investigation Directorates of Income Tax Department about benami transactions and properties as well as proceeds from such properties which are actionable under Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988, as amended by Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016,” it said.
The tax department also assured full confidentiality of the informer for all the reward schemes saying that the identity of the persons giving information will not be disclosed.
With regard to information shared with the I-T authorities about any undisclosed black money held overseas under the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015, an informer could earn a reward up to Rs 5 crore.
The reward amount for information under the Foreign Black money Act has been kept high at Rs 5 crore to make it “attractive to potential sources” in foreign countries, the I-T department said.
“Under this Scheme, a person can get reward for giving specific information in prescribed manner about substantial tax evasion on income and assets abroad which are actionable under Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015,” it added.
In a statement, the tax department said that it was found in many cases that black money was invested in properties in the name of others, even though benefits were enjoyed by the investor concealing his beneficial ownership in his tax returns.
The government had earlier amended Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988, by Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 to make the law stronger.
With the objective of obtaining people’s participation in the Income Tax Department’s efforts to unearth black money and to reduce tax evasion, a new reward scheme titled Benami Transactions Informants Reward Scheme, 2018 has been issued by the Income Tax Department.