Income Declaration Scheme
Income Declaration Scheme
The Income Declaration Scheme was announced in the Finance Bill 2016 by the Finance Minister as a limited period compliance window for domestic taxpayers to declare undisclosed income. In this article, we look at the income declaration scheme in detail.
Income declaration scheme allows domestic taxpayers to declare undisclosed income or income represented in the form of any asset and clear up their past tax transgressions. The scheme allows declaration of income by any person of his undisclosed income by paying tax at 30% , surcharge at 7.5% and penalty at 7.5%, which totals to an effective tax rate total of 45% of the undisclosed income.
All domestic taxpayers are eligible for the income declaration scheme. Hence the following categories of persons or entities can file for disclosing undisclosed income under this scheme:
- Hindu Undivided Family
- Company (Private Limited / One Person Company / Public Limited / Other Types)
- Firm (Partnership Firm / LLP)
- An association of persons / a Body of Individuals, whether incorporated or not.
- A local authority and every type of artificial juridical person.
However, the following persons shall not be eligible:
- Any person for whom an order of detention has been made under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, 1974.
- Any person for whom proceedings for prosecution for any offences punishable under Chapter IX or Chapter XVII of the Indian Penal Code, the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967 and the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 are pending.
- Any person notified under section 3 of the Special Court (Trial of Offences Relating to Transactions in Securities) Act, 1992.
Benefits of Declaration
On making a valid declaration of undisclosed income under the income declaration scheme and the payment of relevant tax/penalty, the person will be exempted any scrutiny or enquiry under Income Tax Act or Wealth Tax Act. Further, the declarant would also have immunity from prosecution and the Benami Transaction Act, 1988, subject to certain conditions. The following is the list of benefits after making a valid declation:
- The amount of undisclosed income declared would not be included in the total income of the declarant for any assessment year under the Income-tax Act.
- Anything contained in the declaration made by the person would not be admissible in evidence against the declarant for the purpose of any proceeding relating to imposition of penalty or for the purposes of prosecution under the Income-tax Act or the Wealth-tax Act, 1957
- The person could enjoy immunity from the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988 in respect of the assets disclosed in the declarations subject to the condition that the benamidar shall transfer to the declarant or his legal representative the asset in respect of which the declaration of undisclosed income is made on or before 30th September, 2017
- The value of asset declared in the declaration shall not be chargeable to wealth-tax for any assessment year or years.
- Declaration of undisclosed income will not affect the finality of completed assessments. A declarant under this Scheme shall not be entitled, in respect of undisclosed income declared or any amount of tax and surcharge paid thereon, to re-open any assessment or reassessment made under the Income-tax Act or the Wealth-tax Act, 1957 or claim any set off or relief in any appeal, reference or other proceeding in relation to any such assessment or reassessment.
Procedure for Declaring Income under Income Declaration Scheme
Declaration of undisclosed income under the Income Declaration Scheme can be made using Form 1 as prescribed under Rule 4 of the Income Declaration Scheme Rules, 2016. Taxpayers should observe that Form 1 under the Income Declaration Scheme can be submitted:
- Online using a digital signature
- By transmission of data in the form electronically under the electronic verification code.
- In print form to the concerned Principal Commissioner
The last date for filing Form 1 under the income declaration scheme is September 30, 2016.