After deciding to deploy revenue service officers at eight overseas Income Tax units, the government will now depute IRS officers at the top world economic body OECD to improve global cooperation in tackling money laundering, tax crimes and bribery.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee earlier this month approved the proposal for deputing the officials at the Paris-headquartered body as advisors.
Indian tax officials will function in three broad areas of tax administration and tax crimes — exchange of tax crime information, transfer pricing and the global forum for transparency and exchange of information for tax matters.
According to the Finance Ministry sources, the government wants these officers to liaise with tax authorities of other countries and subsequently gain expertise to effectively tackle the issue of blackmoney and stashing of illegal funds in tax haven nations.
“The officers to be sent on deputation to the OECD for a maximum of three years will work on tax crimes and would support the task force on tax crimes which works towards improving cooperation between law and enforcement agencies, tackling money laundering and bribery,” a source said.
According to the rules of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) — that are favourable to India’s position vis-a-vis fighting blackmoney — the body “advocates exchange of information between tax authorities on request in cases of specific tax enquiries to better equip tax authorities to tackle tax evasion under Article 26 of its model DTAA.”
The world body, established in 1961, also “provides a forum in which governments can work together to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems” and considers India to be an “emerging giant” in terms of economy.
The top economic cooperation body has 34 member nations which include the US, the UK, France, Germany, Canada, Italy and Switzerland. India too is vying for a place in the bod and according to sources, this could happen soon.
The I-T overseas units will come up in countries like the United States , the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Cyprus, Germany, France, Japan and the United Arab Emirates.