Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha, in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, yesterday stated that in all, 635 declarations worth Rs 4,160 crore of illegal wealth were made in the three-month compliance window, which ended on September 30.
"An amount of Rs 16.69 crore has been collected as tax and penalty up to November 26, 2015," Mr Sinha said in the reply, which was released to the media today.
The one-time window provided an opportunity to foreign assets holders to declare such assets, pay a total of 60 per cent tax and penalty and escape stringent provisions of the new black money law. The taxes and penalty have to be paid by December 31, 2015.
To a reply to A W Rabi Bernard's (AIADMK) query on whether lack of trust with respect to keeping the information confidential, valuation rules and insufficient time given to tax payers led to poor response, Mr Sinha added that "Inference of poor response does not appear to emanate out of the available facts."
He said, "A total of 635 declarants have filed declarations declaring undisclosed foreign assets worth Rs 4,160 crore under one-time compliance window of the newly enacted Black Money Act, 2015. There was no target as such in this regard."
Mr Sinha said the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015, incorporates provisions of Section 138 of the I-T Act, which regulates disclosure of information of assessees.
"The Central Board of Direct Taxes... had also clarified that the information in respect of declaration made was confidential as in the case of return of income filed by assesses," he said.
He added that "reasonable time" of three months from July 1 to September 30 was granted under the one-time compliance window.
Besides, provisions of the compliance window under the Black Money Act were in the public domain before it was introduced and comprehensive valuation rules have also been provided in the Black Money Rules, 2015.