The Income Declaration Scheme, 2016 incorporated as Chapter IX of the Finance Act 2016 provides an opportunity to all persons who have not declared income correctly in earlier years to come forward and declare such undisclosed income(s).
Through this scheme the finance minister aims to bring black money into books of accounts. Under the Scheme, such income as declared by the eligible persons, would be taxed at the rate of 30% plus a 'Krishi Kalyan Cess' of 25% on the taxes payable and a penalty at the rate of 25% of the taxes payable, thereby totalling to 45% of the income declared under the scheme.
Such a scheme was also earlier launched in 1997 and was called VDIS (Voluntary Disclosure of Income Scheme). The new scheme shall remain in force for a period of 4 months from 1st June, 2016 to 30th September, 2016 for filing of declarations and payments towards taxes, surcharge and penalty must be made latest by 30th November, 2016. Declarations can be filed online or with the jurisdictional Pr. Commissioners of Income-tax across the country.
1. The scheme shall apply to undisclosed income whether in the form of investment in assets or otherwise, pertaining to Financial Year 2015-16 or earlier.
2. Where the declaration is in the form of investment in assets, the Fair Market Value of such asset as on 1st June 2016 shall be deemed to be the undisclosed income under the Scheme. However, foreign assets or income to which the Black Money Act 2015 applies are not eligible for declaration under this scheme.
3. Assets specified in the declaration shall be exempt from Wealth tax.
4. No Scrutiny and enquiry under the Income-tax Act or the Wealth tax Act shall be undertaken in respect of such declarations.
5. Immunity from prosecution under the Income-tax Act and Wealth Tax Act is also provided along with immunity from the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988 subject to transfer of asset to actual owner within the period specified in the Rules.
6. Non-payment of total taxes, surcharge and penalty in time or declaration by misrepresentation or suppression of facts shall render the declaration void.
7. The circumstances in which the Scheme shall not apply or where a person is held to be ineligible are specified in section 196 (Chapter IX) of the Finance Act, 2016.
8. Non declaration of undisclosed income under the Scheme, will render such undisclosed income liable to tax in the previous year in which it is detected by the Income tax Department. Other penal consequences will also follow accordingly.
The full text of the Scheme is available on the departmental website www.incometaxindia.gov.in for viewing. The relevant rules and forms for the same are to be notified shortly.