Come clean, Jaitley tells foreign bank account holders

Wednesday 03rd June 2015 06:08 EDT
Arun Jaitley

“The world is increasingly moving towards automatic transmission of information with regard to illegal money held up. By 2017, the situation will arise that we will able to get information in real time,” India's finance minister Arun Jaitley said, stressing that the customer confidentiality promised by Swiss and other foreign banks is no longer iron clad.

The Government is now preying on the disclosures with accounts in Swiss banks and emphasise that those with illicit assets abroad should come clean now that the wall of secrecy has been weakened.

“I have been repeatedly saying that the era of tax havens has come to an end. It is no longer safe to keep your assets overseas illegally,” Jaitley told reporters in Ahmedabad.

Since the Parliament has passed the black money bill in May; it seeks to unearth unaccounted wealth stashed abroad. “In the black money bill, which we have brought, we have provided a provision of compliance window... you utilize this opportunity, declare your assets, pay tax and pay penalty. If you do not use this chance, then we will take strict action,” Jaitley said. He also added that the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Bill, 2015 provided for punishment up to 10 years for concealment and non-disclosure of overseas wealth.

“I have been repeatedly saying that the veil of secrecy with regard to assets and monies kept by Indian entities outside India is going to be lifted...This should give a sufficient indicator to those who hold assets outside India.”

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