Rs65,250cr Declared Under Disclosure Scheme

More than 64,000 people declared hidden assets worth Rs 65,250 crore availing the ‘Income Disclosure Scheme (IDS).

64,275 people revealed assets under the IDS, which allowed people to legitimize concealed income by paying 45 percent tax.

The figures will likely go up after the tax department’s final verification.

At 45 percent, the government will earn about Rs 30,000 crore from income taxes—more than two-thirds the annual budget of Rs 38,500 crore set aside for the rural job guarantee scheme MGNREGA budget.

The IDS began on June 1 and ended September 30 midnight, and declarants can pay their taxes by December 31.

A similar scheme last year allowing people to declare secret overseas assets fell short of expectations, with fewer than 700 people declaring foreign income and paying Rs 2,500 crore in taxes.

A 1997 amnesty scheme called the Voluntary Disclosure of Income Scheme (VDIS) yielded Rs 9,760 crore in taxes to the government.

The government has indicated that tough action could follow after September 30.

Tax evaders face potential stringent penalties – up to 35 percent tax and a 90 percent fine – and up to seven years in prison if they were found to be hiding income.

In July, the income tax (I-T) department had asked 700,000 people who have carried out high-value transactions without quoting their PAN details, to come clean and own-up, or face action.

Under rules, individuals are required to disclose their income tax permanent account numbers (PAN)—a unique 10-digit alpha-numeric code allotted to tax payers–for cash transactions above Rs 2 lakh as also settling hotel bills that exceed Rs 50,000.

Quoting PAN is also mandatory for cash deposits in banks above Rs 50,000, and air tickets and tour package bills worth more than Rs 50,000 among others.

The income tax department has also been collating data on property deals, a source of rampant black money transactions.