New Delhi, Aug 4: Holding out no assurance of an absolute confidentiality to those disclosing foreign assets on their own, the government today said details of information provided during the one-time compliance window can be revealed in the public interest.
"In this (black money) law, there is no assurance of confidentiality but at the same time there is a provision that Section 138 of I-T Act, which is basically a confidentiality provision, that is the information of individual tax payer will be kept confidential. However, the Department in public interest can declare it," Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta Das said today.
He, however, said that the Department will not disclose the information without any reason. "By and large the information would be kept confidential. Under the new law, it is not the case that we will put up a public notice that so and so have availed the benefit and paid tax".
The Revenue Secretary made these remarks in a Talkathon organised by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry on the black money law, along with chairperson of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Anita Kapur. The Revenue Department would come out with a second set of FAQs on the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015 to clarify the provisions of the law, Das said.
The Department had earlier issued the rules and the first set of FAQs on the new law, which has come into force from July 1 and provides a 90-day compliance window to help people holding unaccounted assets abroad to come clean by paying 60 per cent tax and penalty.
Das dismissed the apprehension that people owning undeclared assets were leaving the country and said it would be difficult for anyone to run away from the "long arm of the law" as the whole international community is taking concerted steps to check tax evasion.