The Income Tax department is planning an audio and visual media blitzkrieg across the country to popularise the four-month window for declaring domestic black money that opens on June 1.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has asked the top brass and regional heads of the tax department to ensure “sufficient publicity and wide newspaper and audio-visual media coverage”, including in regional language media, for the scheme.
The directives also stipulate that regional IT heads should hold “outreach” programmes and sessions with market and trade associations in their jurisdiction to make the scheme successful.
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“Under the new black money window, disclosures can be made at any designated office of the IT department in the country as against last year’s overseas black money window when declarations were supposed to be made only at a single office in Delhi.
Hence, it was decided to create awareness in this regard and launch a media campaign as planned,” a senior official said.
He added that such public outreach and advertisements will begin in the next few days and will continue till the window remains operational.
The declarations, the official said, can also be made online using the official e-filing portal of the department.
Under the latest window, declarants opting to come clean by paying 45 per cent tax and penalty will not be subject to scrutiny and inquiry by the tax department under IT Act, Wealth Tax Act and Benami Transactions Act.
The Income Declaration Scheme 2016 will remain in force till September 30 for filing of declarations and payments towards taxes, surcharge and penalty must be made latest by November 30, the Finance Ministry had said.
“The media campaign will be reviewed from time to time by the CBDT,” the official added.
The scheme was announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the budget with an aim to fish out black money from the domestic economy.
Earlier, the government had come out with a similar scheme for Indians holding undisclosed income abroad.
The scheme will apply to undisclosed income whether in the form of investment in assets or otherwise, pertaining to Financial Year 2015-16 or earlier, the Ministry said.
“Under the scheme, income as declared by the eligible persons, would be taxed at the rate of 30 per cent plus a ‘Krishi Kalyan Cess’ of 25 per cent on the taxes payable and a penalty at the rate of 25 per cent of the taxes payable, thereby totalling to 45 per cent of the income declared under the scheme,” the Ministry said.
Detail rules and forms including an explanatory Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for the scheme a to be notified soon.