Taxpayers to disclose bank accounts, foreign travel to Income Tax dept

April 18, 2015 16:36
Taxpayers to disclose bank accounts, foreign travel to Income Tax dept

The government notified new forms on Friday that will require the taxpayer to give details of foreign trips, bank accounts, passport and Aadhaar number while filing returns.

The new forms, which run into 14 pages, will be applicable from the current assessment year implying taxpayers will have to furnish last year’s (2014-15) details, including overseas travel, the money spent on such trips and the sources of these funds among others.

HT had first reported on August 22 last year about the government’s plans to make it mandatory to disclose details of overseas trips in tax return forms as part of a broad strategy to crack down on India’s black economy.

Under the new tax filing norms, the taxpayer will have to furnish the number of bank accounts held “at any time (including opened/closed) during the previous year” with the last balance in his or her account on March 31 of the just concluded fiscal.

The tax payer will also have to give the name of the bank, account number/numbers, it’s address, IFSC and any possible joint account holder.

IFSC is Indian Financial System Code, an eleven character code assigned by RBI to identify every bank branche uniquely.

Besides, the tax payer will have to provide details about his or her passport, the place where it was issued, countries visited during the previous financial year, number of times such trips were made and in case of a resident taxpayer, the expenses incurred from “own sources in relation to such travel”.

Days after assuming office, the Narendra Modi-led government ordered setting up of a special investigation team in line with a Supreme Court order last year. The team’s mandate has since been expanded to also focus on the parallel economy thriving at home.

Last month, the government introduced a bill to combat black money stacked in foreign shores with stringent provisions to penalise and prosecute those who do not declare their stashed cash and assets.

Sources said the government will also table a comprehensive new Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Bill in the current session of Parliament after the month-long recess to combat the menace posed by the illegal parallel black economy within the country.

In October, the government had handed over to the Supreme Court a list of 628 entities whose names feature in a list of HSBC account holders Geneva, which France had handed over to India in 2011.

India has also offered a “cash reward” to Herve Falciani, a former HSBC Bank employee-turned-whistleblower, for securing fresh information on unaccounted money parked in foreign bank accounts.

- Manohar

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Taxpayers  income tax  bank account