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Government's Auditor May Review Income Declaration Scheme, Not Individual Disclosures

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Government's Auditor May Review Income Declaration Scheme, Not Individual Disclosures

The Income Disclosure Scheme ended on September 30.

New Delhi: The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) may audit the just ended black money disclosure scheme for the process followed and how well it performed, but will not get into the disclosures made.

As much as Rs 65,250 crore of undeclared assets were declared through 64,275 declarations under the one-time four-month compliance window provided under the Income Disclosure Scheme (IDS) that ended on September 30.

"The information filed under the IDS is confidential and will neither be shared with any law enforcement agency nor any enquiry be launched by the I-T department," an official said.

But the official auditor CAG may choose to do a performance audit of the scheme as a whole, the official said.

"It can audit the process followed in going about the scheme as well as how well it did. But no specific information on declaration made will either be gone into by the auditor or shall it be given," he said.

CAG had previously audited the Service Tax Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme for the very same purpose.

The last tax amnesty scheme of 1997 - Voluntary Disclosure of Income Scheme (VDIS), too, was audited by CAG.

In its August 2000 report, CAG had found gaping holes and glaring defects in the VDIS saying it was drafted "with a number of lacunae which in turn, were compounded by CBDT circulars, clarifications and press briefings that benefited the declarants".

The implementation of VDIS, it said, left a number of gaps in the procedural matters with distinct impact on revenue realisation.

The official said no adverse action will be taken by the Financial Intelligence Unit or the Income-Tax Department solely on the basis of the declarations made under IDS.

Also, no enquiry or investigation shall be launched on undisclosed income and assets declared under the scheme even if evidence is found subsequently during search or survey proceedings.

Specific information on declarations will not be shared with anyone including investigating agencies like CBI, he added. 

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