In a first of its kind nationwide publicity drive, Income Tax Department has tied up with seven airlines including Air India and Vistara to publicise one-time black money compliance window by printing the scheme’s details on the back of boarding passes.
Armed with a total budget of Rs 100 crore, it will employ the services of the government’s publicity department, DAVP, to advertise the four-month window provided to domestic black money holders to come clean by paying a total tax and penalty of 45 per cent. It will also hold townhall meetings.
The Income Tax Department has tied up with seven airlines for Income Declaration Scheme (IDS) 2016. These include Air India, Spicejet, Indigo, Vistara and Air Asia.
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“Beginning July 15 till September 30, the backside of the boarding passes issued by these airlines will have information relating to the IDS,” an official said.
The department, which has a total budget of Rs 100 crore for IDS, will set aside some of the amount for publicity.
Also, at townhall meetings, it will issue bookmarks instead of pamphlets, as people tend to throw them away, the official added.
The Income Tax Department has also asked its officers to make “all-out efforts” to attract potential declarants by assuring them of confidential and hassle-free disclosures.
In order to give wide publicity, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has suggested putting up posters about the scheme, at places frequented by possible declarants, like club houses, posh markets and showrooms of high-end products.
The four-pronged strategy prepared by CBDT for the success of IDS includes single-point contact for confidentiality, setting up of facilitation centres across the country, giving wide publicity and monitoring at the highest level.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Budget had announced a four-month window under the Income Declaration Scheme 2016.
The scheme, which opened on June 1, allows domestic black money holders to declare ill-gotten wealth and come clean by paying a tax and penalty totalling 45 per cent.
In every city where Principal Commissioner is stationed, a ‘facilitation centre’ in the nature of help-desk may be opened for disseminating information about the scheme.
The CBDT has also asked senior officers to hold frequent meetings with trade and industry bodies and professional associations, besides organising townhalls and seminars.
In order to step up publicity for the scheme at local level, tax officers have been asked to disseminate information through posters in regional languages, stalls at local fairs.
Last year, the government came up with a similar scheme for persons having unaccounted black money abroad. Disclosures during that window were charged with a total tax and penalty of 60 per cent.
A total of Rs 4,147 crore of undisclosed wealth was declared during the 90-day foreign black money compliance window that ended on September 30.
At 60 per cent (30 per cent tax and 30 per cent penalty), the government got a net tax of Rs 2,500 crore from the declarations.