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Govt's new offer for black money holders: Pay 50% tax on unaccounted deposits post demonetisation

Offering a window to black money holders, the Modi government on Monday proposed to levy a total tax, penalty and surcharge of 50 per cent on the amount deposited post demonetisation while higher taxes and stiffer penalty of up to 85 per cent await those who don't disclose but are caught.

Almost three weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced ban on high denomination 500 and 1000 rupee notes, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley introduced a bill to amend the Income Tax law which also provides for black money declarants a mandatorily depositing of 25 per cent of the amount disclosed in anti-poverty scheme without interest and a four-year lock-in period.

Those who choose to declare their ill-gotten wealth hidden till now in banned 500 and 1000 rupee notes under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana 2016, will have to pay a tax at the rate of 30 per cent of the undisclosed income.

Additionally, a 10 per cent penalty will be levied on the undisclosed income and surcharge called PMGK Cess at the rate of 33 per cent of tax (33 per cent of 30 per cent).

Further, the declarants have to deposit 25 per cent of the undisclosed income in a scheme to be notified by the government in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

The money from the scheme would be used for projects in irrigation, housing, toilets, infrastructure, primary education, primary health and livelihood so that there is justice and equality, said the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Bill.

For those who continue to hold onto undisclosed cash and are caught, existing provisions of the Income Tax law will be amended to provide for a flat 60 per cent tax plus a surcharge of 25 per cent of tax (15 per cent), which will amount a levy of 75 per cent.