BLACK MONEY ACT 2015 (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 - Security)

News-CRUX-10     26th July 2023        

Context: As on March 31, tax assessment under the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015, resulted in a cumulative demand of ? 15,666 crore. 

  • The Black Money Act effective from July 2015 was introduced to specifically deal with the issue of black money stashed away abroad.

Features of the Act:

    • Applicability: The Act will apply to all person resident in India.
      • It will also apply to a person being Not an ordinary resident or Non-resident but who was an ordinary resident of India during the previous year when undisclosed income was earned or assets acquired outside India.
      • Provisions of the Act will apply to both undisclosed foreign income and assets (including financial interest in any entity).
    • Tax: Undisclosed foreign income or assets shall be taxed at a flat rate of 30 percent.
      • No deductions, exemptions, carry forward, or set-off shall be available while computing tax liability under the BM Act, unlike the Income Tax Act.
    • Penalties: The penalty for non-disclosure of income or an asset located outside India will be equal to three times the amount of tax payable thereon, i.e., 90 percent of the undisclosed income or the value of the undisclosed asset. This is in addition to the tax payable at 30%.
      • There are other penalties also leviable on account of non-disclosure of required information, and there are prosecution provisions also within the Act.
  • One-time compliance opportunity: The Act also provides a one-time compliance opportunity for a limited period to persons who have any undisclosed foreign assets which have hitherto not been disclosed for the purposes of Income-tax.
    • Such persons may file a declaration before the specified tax authority within a specified period, followed by payment of tax at the rate of 30 percent and an equal amount by way of penalty.
    • Such persons will not be prosecuted under the stringent provisions of the Act.