Black money: Indirect tax evasion of Rs.50,000 crore uncovered

New Delhi: Listing steps taken to curb black money within and outside India, the government on Tuesday said that it has uncovered indirect tax evasion of Rs.50,000 crore and undisclosed income of Rs.21,000 crore in the last two years. "Enhanced enforcement measures have resulted in unearthing of tax evasion of approximately Rs.50,000 crore of indirect taxes and undisclosed income of Rs.21,000 crore," a finance ministry statement here said. "The value of goods seized on account of smuggling activities has increased to Rs.3,963 crore in the last two years (32 percent increase over corresponding two previous years). "Prosecution has been launched in 1,466 cases as against 1,169 cases in the previous two years (25 percent increase)," it said. A new Black Money Act with strict penalty provisions had been enacted and a Special Investigation Team (SIT) under former Supreme Court judge M.B Shah was constituted, it added. "Many recommendations of SIT have been implemented since then," it said. Moreover, a new Income Disclosure Scheme has been formulated for those holding undeclared assets to pay a total tax and penalty of 45 percent, and declare their assets, it added. Further, amendments have been made to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to enable attachment and confiscation of equivalent assets in India where the asset located abroad cannot be forfeited.  Section 132 of the Customs Act, which deals with offences relating to false declaration or documents in the transaction of any business, has been made a predicate offence under PMLA to curb trade-based money-laundering. "The offence of wilful attempt to evade any tax, penalty or interest referred to in section 51 of the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015 has been made a scheduled offence under PMLA," the statement said. The Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999 has also been amended to provide for seizure and confiscation of value equivalent located in India, in case a person is found to have acquired any foreign exchange, foreign security or immovable property, situated outside India, in contravention of FEMA.