CA Umesh Sharma

CA Umesh SharmaArjuna (Fictional Character): Krishna, nowadays two topics are capturing the attention of everyone in India. One is the mobile game ‘Pokémon Go’ and the other is the ‘Income Declaration Scheme 2016’ we may call it “Taxman Go”. One is for Finding Pokeman and other is for undisclosed income. Let’s enjoy it and learn joyful tax related matters. No one should take it otherwise.

Krishna (Fictional Character): Arjuna, ha ha. Good way to learn complex things by such funny correlation. Now Listen, the government is trying to inform the taxpayers about Income Declaration Scheme through various TV advertisements, newspapers, speeches of PM Narendra Modi and Arun Jaitley, etc. There are many similarities between the game ‘Pokémon Go’ and the ‘Income Declaration Scheme’ i.,e “Taxman Go”. Let’s try to know the similarities between the game of Pokémon and Taxman.

Pokemon Taxman-min

Arjuna: Krishna, what is the Income Declaration Scheme 2016 of Income Tax and why it is getting so much importance?

Krishna: Arjuna, the main features of this scheme is as follows:

  1. If undisclosed income is declared under this scheme, then 30% income tax, 7.5% surcharge and 7.5% penalty i.e. 45% tax will have to be paid on such undisclosed income.
  2. The financial year of income or investment made out of such income which is declared under this scheme shall be till year 2015-16. Similarly, if a taxpayer has not filed return or has not included any income in the income tax return, then he can opt for this scheme. Notice for Scrutiny, assessment, etc. should not have been received earlier for such years.
  3. If taxable income is in the form of assets, then the fair market value as on 1st June 2016 will have to be taken as value of the asset. For example, if assets was made in land out of undisclosed income in the year 2010-11 for Rs.3 lakhs and if the fair market value (stamp duty value) as on 1st June 2016 of such land is Rs.5 lakhs, then the taxpayer will have to pay tax on Rs.5 lakhs. In this scheme, gold, diamonds, pearls, jewellery, etc. can be declared on the basis of valuation of 1st June 2016.
  4. Declaration under this this scheme can be from 1st June 2016 till 30th September 2016.
  5. Under this scheme, one will have to pay minimum 25% tax, surcharge and penalty till 30th November 2016, 50% till 31st March 2017 and 100% till 30th September 2017.
  6. The person applying for this scheme and the related details will be kept secret. Many other conditions are there.

As in Pokémon game, Pokémon has to be searched and then catch them through Poké balls in the similar way income tax officers (Taxman) will try to find the ones who are hiding themselves from income tax and having black money or undisclosed income. If scheme is not availed by tax evaders.

Arjuna: Krishna, what are the features of the Pokémon Go game?

Krishna: Arjuna, Pokémon Go is a game played in a mobile. In this game, one has to go to various places with mobile. Pokémon are hidden in various houses, cities, on roads, and at various other places. They have to be searched through camera and the GPS system of mobile. Pokémon have to be caught by throwing Poké balls. And in this way, an army of Pokémon has to be formed. We can get various weapons from the Poké shops. Also, these Poké shops have to be searched. After all this, a war has to be fought with the help of Pokémon army and the weapons on the field of war situated at various places in the city. To enter the next level, one has to win such wars. For this, one has to go to various places by keeping wi-fi on. This game has become very popular in the whole world. Similarly, the Taxman is insisting to disclose undisclosed income, land, gold, diamonds, pearls, jewelry. Notices are been given to more than 7 lakh taxpayers through e-mails, sms, advertisement on TV, etc in the country. PAN, Bank A/c, etc data is used to track online the tax evaders. For more details, people can log on to www.incometaxindia.gov.in website.

Pokemon-min

Arjuna: Krishna, what is the role of the Taxman i.e. income tax officer in this scheme?

Krishna: Arjuna, the income tax officers are trying to find the taxpayers who have undisclosed income. Officers of each city are making list of such taxpayers and keeping an eye on their transactions of huge amount. They are searching such taxpayers through pan card, aadhar card, bank, etc. The taxpayers having undisclosed income should take benefit from this scheme. The way, through which a Pokémon can be found out in the Pokémon Go game, similarly the income tax officers can trace various transactions through computerized technology.

Arjuna: Krishna, what are the dissimilarities between Pokémon Go and Income Declaration Scheme?

Krishna: Arjuna, hidden Pokémon have to be searched and points have to be collected in Pokémon Go game however taxman has given a chance to taxpayers to disclose their undisclosed income and pay tax on it to the government. In Pokémon Go, the opponent is also a player.  But in income tax, the opponent is a tax evader and the motive is to get the tax paid along with interest and penalty from such taxpayers. New ways and updates are created by game lovers to increase their score, where as various unlawful ways are used to create black money by tax evaders. Hence it’s very difficult to collect tax for tax evaders out 125 Crores of Indian population.

Arjuna: Krishna, What lesson taxpayers should learn from all these?

Krishna: Arjuna, Pokémon Go is just a game but many people are getting so addicted to it that it can prove dangerous for their lives. Taxman Go is game played with a motive for collecting tax for the growth of the country. If tax is paid regularly as per income tax laws, then there is no harm. As soon as the scheme ends on 30th September, Taxman will catch the tax evaders through survey, raid or search. Therefore, it is said that playing with income tax law can prove to be very costly. And that is why, one should declare his undisclosed income under this and play happily in their lives.

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