NEW DELHI:The Department of Income Tax (I-T) is all set to award whistleblowers providing credible and actionable clues about “untraceable” tax evaders.
As per new guidelines issued last week, the tipsters will be rewarded handsomely with a 10 per cent booty of tax realised from the defaulter or a maximum of Rs 15 lakh. In exceptional cases, the reward limit can be enhanced. Except in cases where the law requires, the informant’s identity would remain secret by allotting a unique number for communication.
Widening the scope of recovering unpaid taxes, the department, for the first time, included Tax Deducted at Source or self-assessment tax defaults by an entity for over six months. Effective from the last and current financial year, the CBDT issued notices to all of its offices keeping in mind the huge challenge of tackling black money, and boost the revenue kitty. Informers will have to give inputs “supported by facts and documents” and no “speculation, vague or inputs of general nature and educated guess” will be entertained.
“Any credible information of the whereabouts or assets of the person, on or after March 31, 2015, which results in the collection of taxes, penalties, interest or other amounts not exceeding 10 per cent of the tax realised which is directly attributable to the information or documents supplied by the informant, subject to a ceiling of Rs 15 lakh” will be covered under the new guidelines. So far, officials said, names of about 50 such large defaulters, who have a tax liability of nearly Rs 2,000 crore, have been publicised. “More names, including those under the TDS and self-assessment category, are in the offing,” an officer said.