From various speeches in various forums by Prime Minister, Narender Modi and Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, one can sense the focus that the Government is putting on getting maximum subscribers to its Income Declaration Scheme 2016.
Government under pressure to act on its “Joomlas”-Getting black money out from the system was one of his profile promise of this Government too in previous election which also had a popular promise of getting everyone Rs 15 lacs, later termed as “Joomla” by its own minister, Amit Shah
Yesterday, through its official twitter handle, Government again reminded people that only 20 days are left for those holding black money to declare the same through one time compliance window.
“The Income Declaration Scheme closes on 30.09.2016. Only 20 days left. Hurry, declare now!,” the department said on its official Twitter handle.
Few days earlier too, it reminded that this declaration would stay confidential and secret and would not be shared with any other Government authority or jurisdictional PCIT. So far, Government has ruled out any extension to the four month window ending on September 30th 2016. In fact it has extended the date of filing of return of income tax by large tax payers falling due on 30th September 2016.
To popularize the scheme, Government has extended time period to pay the Penal Tax-Surprising this extension has been done without any demand form industry, and therefore, seems as pressure building measures by Government to stress that it does plan to come down heavily on those not opting to come clean by due date. To popularize the scheme, Government has allowed the declarants to pay the amount in three installments, as against earlier due date of 30th November 2016, by 30th September 2017. The first installment of 25 per cent under the IDS 2016 will have to be paid by November 2016, followed by another 25 per cent by March 31, 2017 and last installment to be paid by 30th September 2017.
No enquiry of you declare- AND what if you don’t? The scheme has also provisioned that no enquiry or investigation in respect of assets /income declared and found during the course of Search u/s 132 or Survey action u/s 133A of the Income-tax Act, 1961 would be done and that no questions would be asked about the source of the undisclosed income or assets if the declaration is made voluntarily. The Hindi version of Hon’ble Prime Minsiter’s Speech in his radio programme, Mann ki Baat is reproduced herein under ( relevant portion):-
“…………………………मैंने ये भी वादा किया है कि स्वेच्छा से जो अपने मिल्कियत के सम्बन्ध में, अघोषित आय के सम्बन्ध में सरकार को अपनी जानकारी दे देंगे, तो सरकार किसी भी प्रकार की जांच नहीं करेगी। इतना धन कहाँ से आया, कैसे आया – एक बार भी पूछा नहीं जाएगा और इसलिए मैं कहता हूँ कि अच्छा मौका है कि आप एक पारदर्शी व्यवस्था का हिस्सा बन जाइए। ………………………….”
Now, with this Government has almost completed half of its term in office and some crucial elections in various states as Punjab / UP etc are coming in next few months. Media or Opposition parties are not likely to be very forgiving and likely to remind it of the promise of bringing black money back or to give Rs 15 lacs to each household. So far Government has not made public the response to the scheme so far and the collections.
Thus, going through the focus of Government and the political compulsions, seems like unless the collections are on expected lines, Government may not have any options but to come down heavy on those taking chances and not coming clean through IDS,2016