The Supreme Court-appointed special investigation team (SIT) on black money expects the income tax department to recover Rs 10,000 crore by March 31 as tax and penalty for tax evasion from 300-odd Indians who hold illegal accounts in Swiss banks.
“Under the supervision of the SIT, the I-T department has already recovered around Rs 3,500 crore from some of the account holders. As these are old accounts, assessment proceedings have to be complete by March 31, and we expect the I-T department to net another Rs 6,500 crore by that time,” SIT vice-chairman Justice Arijit Pasayat told TOI.
He agreed that what was unearthed till now, from the data given by the French government, was only a minuscule portion of the number of foreign accounts held by Indians abroad for the purpose of parking illegal money .
“That is why we have gone public seeking information from all sources about Indians holding accounts abroad to stash black money . Half of the 628 Swiss accounts, information about which was given to India by France, was held either by NRIs or were legitimate. Rs 10,000 crore is expected to be recovered from the rest on completion of assessment proceedings,” Pasayat said.
This is the reason why the SIT had recommended making tax evasion a prosecutable offence, which means tax evaders could face jail term if it is proved that they deliberately evaded payment of taxes.t “We cannot have a simple offence like cheating a prosecutable offence under Section 420 of IPC, but allow tax evaders to go scot-free if they agree to pay up after being caught,” Pasayat said.
The SIT, in its report to the SC, had expressed serious concern about false invoicing in the export-import business e and said it was the major route for generating black mons ey. Commencement of strict scrutiny of invoices and come paring them with other ex port-import documents has to led a few businessmen to come out voluntarily and pay up Rs 500 crore as penalty .
“Under the supervision t of SIT, the customs and excise department has initiated proceedings for recovery of Rs 15,000 crore in tax evasion just from mis-invoicing. These adjudication proceedings will be completed within a fixed time frame and we can expect the money to come within a year,” Pasayat said.