Mumbai, April 1, 2017

Disclosures under the second tax amnesty scheme (IDS-II), which is closing tonight, have turned out to be a damp squib, with Mumbai region netting under Rs 500 crore while the total adding up to less than Rs 13,000 crore from across the country. The low collection is against the Rs one trillion target set by the government, according to sources in the Income Tax department. Officially, however, no target had been announced. Meanwhile, the CBDT today extended the deadline to file the returns to April 10 for those who have paid the penalty under the scheme.

Mumbai tax officials said the low declarations at under Rs 500 crore from the city, which contributes more than 33 per cent of total Income Tax collection, is surprising. “We believe the disclosures under the Income Tax Declaration Scheme-II so far would be somewhere near Rs 13,000 crore,” a department official from New Delhi told PTI.

An official here attributed the cold response to the scheme to a delayed start. “The scheme came into effect on December 16, but proper information with details of bank deposits started pouring in only from the last week of February. So we were left with very short time to meet the deadline,” he said. The department today issued a notification extending the last date of filing returns to April 10 considering the rush at banks on the last day of the financial year, which is also the last date for making the declaration under IDS-II.

If an assessee has paid the tax along with surcharge and penalty under the scheme in a bank by the closing hours of March 31, he or she shall be allowed to file the tax return under the scheme by April 10, CBDT said in a notification. The scheme provides an opportunity to declare unaccounted cash and cash deposits and black money in a confidential manner and avoid prosecution by paying up 50 per cent of the undisclosed income as fine.

An additional 25 per cent of the undisclosed income will be invested in the scheme that can be refunded after four years, without any interest. Not declaring the unaccounted income under the scheme will attract a fine of 77.3 per cent if the income is shown in the tax returns. In case income is not shown in the return filing, it will attract a further 10 per cent penalty followed by prosecution.

[The Financial Express]