PMO asks tax dept to find more ways to bring back black money

SansadTV Bureau

Aiming to intensify government’s drive on black money, the PMO has asked the revenue department to look for ways other than bilateral tax treaties to bring back funds stashed abroad.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has suggested the tax department to think of other ways to tackle the menace of black money, sources said.

The revenue department, they said, replied that tax treaties or double taxation avoidance agreements are the only way to get banking information.

“The revenue department feels that speedy prosecution (of names on the lists received by India) is the only way to tackle the issue of black money,” said a source in the tax department.

Top sources in the revenue department point out how prosecution in the HSBC list, that India received in 2011, began only in 2014 — over three years later.

Fast action and prosecution of tax evaders will also resolve the dilemma of information sharing with other agencies, they added.

Foreign countries have reservations about India sharing lists, provided by them, with other agencies or even the Supreme Court.

This apprehension stems from the concern that having a foreign account is not tantamount to tax evasion.

So, if shared genuine account holders will also be heckled.

But launching prosecution would mean that only names of holders, who evaded tax will be shared with other agencies like CBI or enforcement directorate, sources said.