Bundles of Swiss franc banknotes. (Photographer: Michele Limina/Bloomberg)

Taxman Launches Crackdown Against Indians With Illegal Foreign Assets

The Income Tax Department has launched a major operation to investigate cases of illegal funds and properties stashed abroad by Indians looking to invoke the new anti-black money law for strict criminal action in many such cases.

The department, in coordination with its foreign counterparts, is investigating offshore bank deposits and purchase of assets by “thousands of Indians”, officials said on Monday. The Central Board of Direct Taxes Chairman Sushil Chandra confirmed the move but refused to elaborate.

Officials said the taxman, armed with vital transaction details of overseas transactions from the financial intelligence unit and other sources, is working on such cases across the country. This was part of a major “concerted” action against black money.

In many cases, notices have been issued to individuals or other category of taxpayers to explain their transactions, the officials said.

A number of these cases involve high-profile and prominent people, while several high-net worth individuals are under the scanner. However, only those cases will face criminal action under the new anti-black money law which have not been reflected before the taxman in the income tax returns or have been done with an intent to evade taxes.

The government brought this new law—The Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act—in 2015.

Also read: FPIs, NRIs, And Own Goals In The Name Of ‘Black Money’