IT Department tightens probe on ‘Black Money’

RSTV Bureau

HSBC_logoTightening its probe on the ‘black money’ or unaccounted money of Indian nationals stashed in overseas banks, the Income Tax department has filed 121 cases for prosecution. These cases have been filed against those entities whose names have appeared in the HSBC Geneva bank list. As yet, an undisclosed income to the tune of Rs 4,800 crore has been brought under tax net in these cases at the end of the last fiscal.

The cases have been filed in courts in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Goa before the closure of the just concluded financial year 2014-15 on March 31.

According to the authorities, the complaints were filed under I-T laws for tax evasion after investigations into these cases found that these individuals or entities were ‘wilful’ defaulters and had allegedly hidden their incomes by illegally keeping in the Swiss bank.

The Income Tax department has been probing 240 HSBC cases where it is suspected that Indians have stashed their illicit funds abroad. Till 31st December 2014, assessments were completed in 128 cases out of the total 628 Indian names or entities reported on the stolen HSBC list provided by France to India few years ago after they were reportedly “secreted” out by an employee posted at the Geneva branch of Swiss Bank.

Out of the said 628 people, 200 were either non-residents or non-traceable, leaving 428 cases to be actionable for tax sleuths to probe. For these 428 actionable cases, the government had said, the net amount of peak balance was about Rs 4,500 crore.

Details of more than 1,000 suspected account holders from India, were claimed to have been disclosed through a joint investigation by an international body –the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

The entire HSBC list features names of 1,668 Indians while the number of actionable cases stands at 1,195 after taking into account duplication and other factors. Collectively, these accounts had a balance of USD 4.11 billion (Rs 25,420 crore) till 2007.
A report in this regard has also been sent to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money which is now compiling all the figures and data to present an action taken report (ATR) before the Supreme Court on or before May 12.