Refusing demands by the business community to make the Income Declaration Scheme (IDS 2016) more attractive, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said it is “not a seasonal sale”.
“There are many in the business community who are asking to make IDS more attractive. But this is not a seasonal sale,” Jaitley said at a workshop organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci).
The violator cannot be given better facilities than the honest assessee, who regularly pays his taxes, he said.
In fact, there is a legitimate analysis in the Central Board Of Direct Taxes (CBDT) that some of the earlier schemes could have been considered discriminatory against the honest tax payer, he added.
Already the revenue department has been kind-hearted so that cash flows can be made available, he said.
The government earlier in the day announced relaxation in the time schedule for making payments under the income declaration scheme.
Only a minimum amount of 25 per cent of the tax, surcharge and penalty needs to be paid by November 30, 2016, while a further 25 per cent of the tax, surcharge and penalty is to be paid by March 31, 2017, the finance ministry said in a statement.
The balance amount needs to be paid on or before September 30, 2017, the statement said.
Jaitley said that the government is looking to gradually put an end to the mindset of the assessee which makes him believe that he can evade the payment of taxes. He said that with the coming up of Goods and Services Tax (GST), every stage of business transactions is going to get recorded.
Warning the defaulters, who are refraining from making use of the IDS’ four-month window, he said that such people are taking a big risk as for the taxman detecting violation is going to become easy with increasing technology.
“Gradually PAN application will increase. So it will not be profitable to have concealed assets. With real time sharing of information with various countries, finding details will not be difficult,” he said.
“That’s why IDS is a part of that strategy where we want people to come clean,” he added.
Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said that under the scheme, government is planning to soon provide the facility of anonymous declaration of unaccounted wealth as some people may not be comfortable in giving declarations before their own areas’ principal commissioner.
“We are also planning in four metropolitan cities, we will have a facility where people from other places can also come and disclose their unaccounted assets. You can anonymously come to these laces and make declaration before one officer who will be common to all. This facility we are planning to provide very shortly,” Adhia said at the workshop.