Revised Reward Scheme (2018) for Informers of Income Tax Evasion, announced by CBDT
The CBDT has announced Revised Reward Scheme (2018) for Informers of Income Tax Evasion. Under the revised scheme, a person can get reward upto Rs. 50 lakh for giving specific information about substantial evasion of tax on income or assets in India which are actionable under the Income-tax Act, 1961.
With the objective of obtaining people’s participation in the Income Tax Department’s efforts to unearth black money and reduce tax evasion, a new reward scheme titled “Income Tax Informants Reward Scheme, 2018” has been issued by the Income Tax Department, superseding the earlier reward scheme issued in 2007.
Under the revised scheme, a person can get reward up to Rs. 50 lakh for giving specific information in prescribed manner to the designated officers of Investigation Directorates in Income Tax Department about substantial evasion of tax on income or assets in India which are actionable under the Income-tax Act, 1961.
Further, Government of India had earlier introduced Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015, in order to investigate and assess income and specific assets kept in foreign countries by people taxable in India, recover tax on it and take other actions like penalty and prosecution. With the objective of attracting and encouraging people to give information about such income and assets actionable under Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015, reward up to Rs. 5 crore has been introduced in the new reward scheme. The amount has been kept high to make it attractive to potential sources in foreign countries. Under this Scheme, a person can get reward for giving specific information in prescribed manner about substantial tax evasion on income and assets abroad which are actionable under Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015.
Information under this scheme has to be given in prescribed manner to the Director General of Income Tax (Investigation) or an officer whom he may authorize in this behalf. Foreigners will also be eligible for reward under this scheme. Identity of the persons giving information will not be disclosed and strict confidentiality shall be maintained.
Details of the revised reward scheme are available in the Income Tax Informants Reward Scheme, 2018, copy of which is available in Income Tax offices and on the official website of Income Tax Department www.incometaxindia.gov.in
Grant of Rewards to Informers of Tax Evasion: GoI Guidelines
The details with regard to guidelines in respect of rewards to informers of tax evasion are:
Any person who provides specific information with respect to evasion of direct taxes and such information helps in detection of undisclosed income and/or seizure of undisclosed cash, valuables resulting in levy and collection of extra income tax, is entitled to receive reward as per “Guidelines for grant of rewards to informants, 2007”, which came into effect from 1st December, 2007. As per the guidelines, the Competent Authority may grant reward not exceeding 10% of the extra income-tax and wealth-tax levied and actually realized, but subject to a ceiling of Rs. 15,00,000/- (rupees fifteen lakhs only) if the aforesaid taxes are directly attributable to the information, including documents, supplied by the informant. The monetary ceiling shall apply with reference to a Group of cases and not in respect of the individual assesses of the Group.
Indirect Taxes :-
Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) vide Circular No. 20/2015 dated 31.07.2015 has issued fresh reward guidelines for the Government servants and informers so as to get information about tax evasion.
The system does not scare away potential informers because the details of the informer is kept confidential and is not disclosed under any circumstances.
This was stated by Shri Jayant Sinha, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha on 29 April, 2016.