India’s Black Money Bill Approved

The Indian Parliament has approved the Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets Bill, which will bring into law heavy penalties on those concealing money in foreign accounts.

An unofficial estimate of illegal money stashed away overseas puts it somewhere between $466 billion and $1.4 trillion.

Before the new law comes into effect a limited time period will be provided for people to declare their undisclosed income and assets, pay 30 percent tax and a similar amount as a penalty and escape prosecution.

Explaining that a time-frame will be provided as a “compliance window” for declaring and paying the penalty the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley commented that failure to meet the compliance timeline will attract an additional penalty of 90 percent for a total tax liability of 120 percent on the quantum of undeclared money held abroad.

The bill also provides for imprisonment of between 3 to 10 years for perpetrators.

The finance minister said India was foremost among a growing number of countries that were taking interest in the G-20 sponsored initiative on the automatic transmission of information with regard to monetary transactions.

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