‘No extension of September 30 deadline to disclose foreign assets’

New Delhi, Sep 22 (IANS) The Indian government will not extend beyond September 30 the deadline for income tax assesses to disclose unaccounted foreign assets abroad, a senior official said on Tuesday.

“It has been cleared that the date is not extending. Those who want to disclose (unaccounted foreign assets), need to disclose by this period. This has been the stance of the government from the very beginning. Now the compliance window is in the last stage, those who want to disclose can use the window,” V. Anandarajan, joint secretary, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), said at an event here.

Anandarajan also clarified that no deduction or exemption would be allowed to those who declare such assets held abroad.

He said that unlike the (Voluntary Disclosure of Income Scheme) VDIS law of 1997, the black money law is not aimed at revenue generation.

“Altogether it’s a very tough law. Therefore, we have provided this window. This time around unlike the VDIS of 1997, it is not a revenue raising measure,” he said.

“It is really an opportunity to come forward and make a declaration. And that window is closing, only seven days are left,” the official added.

The finance ministry, in a release on Monday, reiterated that September 30 is the last day for individuals to declare undisclosed foreign assets under the new Black Money act.

The information declaring assets held by individuals under the one-time compliance opportunity provided under the new Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015, will be kept confidential, a statement said.

Section 138 of the Income Tax Act will be applied on the declarations, the statement added.

It also dispelled the fears of harassment for declaring individuals as wrongly reported in some fora.

However, the ministry also cautioned that individuals not declaring their foreign assets will face severe consequences which may include higher penalty, prosecution and also forfeiture of asserts under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

In a second set of clarifications earlier this month in the frequently asked questions (FAQs) format, the government reiterated total confidentiality of information furnished to unearth black money stashed abroad.

The finance ministry also relaxed conditions for those who cannot get bank statements of their foreign accounts, saying it would accept their “best estimate” declarations with a rider that a penalty would follow if disclosures were incomplete.

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