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Income Declaration Scheme discloses Rs 65,250 crore black money

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said that Rs 65,250 crore in black money and undisclosed income had been disclosed to the government under the Income Declaration Scheme (IDS) by September 30.

He said that 64,275 individuals had disclosed their income under the scheme.

The four-month window for tax evaders to come clean on black money ended on Friday.

According to reports, Jaitley said the figure will be revised upwards as the tax department is still processing some declarations.

The IDS was conceptualised to curb the rising instances of tax evasion and tax avoidance that subsequently culminated in tax payers stashing large amounts of black money overseas.

Under the scheme, launched on June 1, those who had evaded taxes were given the opportunity to avoid punishment by paying tax, penalty and cess totalling 45 per cent of the undisclosed income.

“IDS is not an immunity scheme,” said Jaitley while updating the media about the numbers. Jaitley added that the IDS is a significant government step towards curbing black money and said that the “identity of the declarants will not be disclosed.”

The first instalment of 25 per cent. will have to be paid by the defaulters till November 30, 2016, another 25 per cent. by March 31, 2017 and remaining amount will have to be paid to the exchequer by September 30, 2017.

The Finance Minister also revealed that more people are becoming tax compliant with the implementation of IDS.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier this year warned that those who do not declare undisclosed income by September 30 would face stringent action including imprisonment.

The tax revenue from the scheme will help the government bridge the budget deficit, said reports. India’s tax to GDP ratio is 16.6 per cent, which is much lower than the emerging market economy average of 21 per cent.

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