New Delhi: The government on Thursday launched an ‘EMI scheme’ over an extended period for the payment of tax and penalty for the black money disclosed under the one-time compliance scheme.
The government has allowed the tax defaulters to pay the tax and penalty in three instalments under the revised time schedule.
The Income Declaration Scheme (IDS), which gives holders of undeclared wealth a chance to come clean by paying tax, surcharge and penalty of 45 per cent and escape punishment, had earlier provided two month's time after the close of declaration window on September 30 this year for payment of dues.
Now, the government has allowed payment of dues in three instalments by September 30, 2017.
The first instalment of 25 per cent of the total tax, surcharge and penalty due will have to be paid by November 30, 2016, followed by a second tranche of an equivalent amount by March 31, 2017. The remaining 50 per cent will have to be paid by September 30, 2017, a finance ministry statement said.
In a separate statement, the government set to rest the theory of 31 per cent being the effective tax rate under IDS.
Addressing queries received from stakeholders on whether the payment under IDS can be made out of undisclosed income, without including it in the income declared -- thereby whittling down the effective tax rate to 31 per cent -- it has clarified that there is no intent to "modify or alter the rate of tax, surcharge and penalty payable under the Scheme".
“Various stakeholders have expressed concern that the time period available under the Scheme up to 30th November, 2016 for making payment of tax, surcharge and penalty is very short, especially where funds in liquid form are not readily available with the declarants,” Ministry of Finance said in a statement.
The clarification in the form of frequently asked questions (FAQs) stated that "Sections 184 & 185 of the Finance Act, 2016 unambiguously provide for payment of tax, surcharge and penalty at the rate of 45 per cent of undisclosed income".
It offered an example: If a person declares Rs 100 lakh as undisclosed income, being the fair market value of undisclosed immovable property as on June 1, 2016 and pays tax, surcharge and penalty of Rs 45 lakh (30 lakh + 7.5 lakh + 7.5 lakh) on it out of his other undisclosed income, he won't get any immunity.
"In this case the declarant will not get any immunity under the Scheme in respect of undisclosed income of 45 lakh utilized for payment of tax, surcharge and penalty but not included in the declaration filed under the Scheme," according to the clarification.
To get immunity under the Scheme in respect of the entire undisclosed income of Rs 145 lakh (Rs 100 lakh being immovable property and Rs 45 lakh being the payment made from undisclosed income), a person must pay tax, surcharge and penalty under the Scheme amounting to Rs 65.25 lakh i.e, 45 per cent of Rs 145 lakh.
The tax department said a revision in the declaration before the close of the four-month window on September 30 will be allowed subject to the condition that the reported amount is not reduced.