The government may announce an amnesty scheme for citizens having unaccounted wealth abroad and also permit taxmen to dig into income tax filings of past 16 years of suspected assessees, based on the suggestions made by a high—powered panel. The committee on black money, headed by CBDT Chairman, which met last week, considered among other suggestions, an Offshore Voluntary Compliance scheme on the lines of the one operated by the Internal Revenue Service in the United States.

“We have suggested that an Offshore Voluntary Compliance scheme be brought in like in the US, whereby a person declares money kept in foreign accounts and pays the penalty on it, after which the money can be brought back into the country,” a top Finance Ministry official told PTI.

“We have also recommended increasing the review period of re-opening tax assessments to 16 years from six years now, but that may be only for money stashed abroad,” the official said.

Besides, the committee, which is slated to submit its report to the Finance Minister by January 31, 2012, could also recommend changes in current laws to curb generation of black money within the country.

“A lot of black money is generated out of activities under the state’s control, like illegal mining, land deals, building construction, and in awarding contracts. We will suggest some changes in current law to tackle this menace,” the official said

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February 2024