Any disclosure under the Income Declaration Scheme is ‘confidential’, assures Arun Jaitley

NEW DELHI: With Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling on the nation to declare their undisclosed income by September 30, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday assured that declaration under the ‘Income Declaration Scheme’ is confidential and will not be shared with any other authorities.

Speaking to the media here, Jaitley said that in this scheme from June 1 to September 30, the compliance window will remain open.

“Those people who have the income that has not been assessed, they will have to disclose it and pay 30 percent tax and 15 % penalty and legitimise it. There is no other investigation or action taken once this procedure is carried out. This is the last chance for people to declare the incomes after which they can be in peace,” Jaitley said.

Asserting that the Income Declaration Scheme is being taken by the government as a mission, the Finance Minister said that any declaration under this law is protected and is not shared with any other authority, as per the provision of the scheme.

“Ministers of the government will be going to different states in order to educate on the scheme so that maximum number of people can avail this scheme,”Jaitley added.

Earlier, Prime Minister Modi in his 21st edition of his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ on Sunday, asked people to declare their undisclosed income by September 30, making it clear that this is the last chance to avoid problems that will follow after the window of opportunity closes.

“In a country of 1.25 billion there are only 1.5 lakh people whose taxable income is more than 50 lakh. The government has come out with a scheme to declare undisclosed income before September 30. By paying a penalty, we can free ourselves of several burdens,” he said. Prime Minister Modi appealed to the people to take this opportunity and become a part of this transparent scheme, which is available only till September 30.

“Consider this as one last chance,” he said.

The Income Tax Department announced the Income Declaration Scheme 2016, which gives the opportunity to citizens to declare their undisclosed assets before the said date. The Income Declaration Scheme 2016, which came into effect from June 1, 2016, is an opportunity for those who didn’t disclose income or pay taxes thereon in the past. The BJP-led NDA regime at the Centre has declared September 30 as the last date for making a declaration and November 30 as the date by which the tax, surcharge and penalty may be paid.