The Finance Minister explained the Income Declaration Scheme, 2016 in his budget speech for 2016-17 in specific section for reducing litigation and providing certainty in taxation. (2016) 381 ITR 9 (St.)(35)
“We are moving towards a lower tax regime with non-litigious approach. Thus, while compliant taxpayers can expect a supportive interface with the department, tax evasion will be countered strongly. Capability of the tax department to detect tax evasion has improved because of enhanced access to information and availability of technology driven analytical tools to process such information. I want to give an opportunity to the earlier non-compliant to move to the category of compliant.
I propose a limited period Compliance Window for domestic taxpayers to declare undisclosed income or income represented in the form of any asset and clear up their past tax transgressions by paying tax at 30%, and surcharge at 7.5% and penalty at 7.5%, which is a total of 45% of the undisclosed income. There will be no scrutiny or enquiry regarding income declared in these declarations under the Income-tax Act or the Wealth-tax Act and the declarants will have immunity from prosecution. Immunity from Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act, 1988 is also proposed subject to certain conditions. The surcharge levied at 7.5% of undisclosed income will be called Krishi Kalyan surcharge to be used for agriculture and rural economy. We plan to open the window under this Income Disclosure Scheme from 1st June to 30th September, 2016 with an option to pay amount due within two months of declaration.
Our Government is fully committed to remove black money from the economy. Having given one opportunity for evaded income to be declared once, we would then like to focus all our resources for bringing people with black money to book.”