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Strategy to Tackle the Issue of Black Money Stashed Abroad



INFO-NUGGETS

FINANCE


Shamima Siddiqui*
  
            The Government has adopted a five-pronged strategy to tackle the sensitive issue of Black Money –
Joining the Global Crusade Against Black Money

·           Issues of tax evasion and Exchange of Information have been incorporated in G 20 communiqué due to efforts of India in the recent ministerial meetings.
·           India is playing a key role in Global Forum on Transfer Pricing and Exchange of Information for tax purpose, as Vice Chairman of Peer Review Group.
·           Joined FATF, Task Force on financial integrity and Economic Development and Eurasian Group.
·           India is participating in policy groups of OECD and UN on Exchange of Information, International Taxation and Transfer Pricing as observer and member respectively.

Creating an Appropriate Legislative Framework

·         Started renegotiation with 75 countries to broaden the scope of Article concerning Exchange of Information, and negotiation of DTAA and Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) with new countries and 22 priority countries/jurisdictions (no tax or low tax countries/jurisdictions) respectively.
·         India has signed the OECD Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax matters on 26 January, 2012. This Convention shall expand the scope of India’s treaty network on tax matters.
·         Enacted legislation incorporating counter measure against non-cooperative   jurisdiction (section 94 A in Finance Act 2011).
·         Tightened provisions of transfer pricing.
·         Proposed GAAR and reporting requirement of foreign asset in the Finance Bill, 2012.
·         28 of existing DTAA also contain article for assistance in collection of taxes including taking measures of conservancy. Government is trying to have this Article in other treaties as well.

Setting up Institutions to Deal with Illicit Funds

·       Ten Income Tax Overseas Units in various Indian Missions abroad have been created and out of which two are already functional. The remaining 8 Units shall be made operational very soon. Creation of more ITOUs is under active consideration.
·      To effectively handle the increase in tax information exchange and transfer pricing issues, a dedicated Exchange of Information unit (EOI Unit) has been set up.

Developing Systems for Implementation

·      New policy for deployment of manpower to Directorate of Transfer Pricing and International Taxation is implemented.
·      Manpower of FT&TR Division in CBDT has been doubled.

Imparting Skills to the Manpower for Effective Action

·      Officers are being imparted specialized training abroad in field of International Taxation and Transfer Pricing. 
·      International seminar on transfer pricing was held in India in month of June 2011.

            India played a major role in G-20 discussions and highlighted the importance of automatic exchange of information and importance of obtaining past banking information. India has also obtained useful information about Indians having bank accounts in Swiss bank. This is under investigation. Further a dedicated Exchange of Information Cell has been created to handle the work related to exchange of information in line with latest international standards. (PIB Features.)

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