These individuals received notices under the Black Money law and will have their returns for the period 2013-2018 re-opened if they fail to prove NRI status
The Income-Tax (I-T) Department has asked individuals claiming to be non-resident Indians (NRIs) to not disclose foreign assets for assessment years 2013-14 to 2017-18 as proof their citizenship status.
The move comes as the department received information on several people evading taxes on “substantial offshore assets and earnings” by falsely declaring themselves as NRIs, The Economic Times reported.
These individuals received notices under the Black Money law and will have their returns for the period 2013-2018 re-opened if they fail to prove NRI status. The individuals are being probed under sections 271 to 278 of the I-T Act, it added.
Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.
Information on the “actionable list” of names was gained from data obtained from I-T tax havens with pacts, leaks, and alerts from government agencies.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) in an order sought actions against Indians names in leaked HSBC documents and Panama Papers, and reports by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), the report added.
An official told the paper that more than 200 assessees on the HSBC case have been listed with I-T department’s Mumbai office; adding that the ‘list’ also includes “politicians and family of a top businessman.”
Under Indian laws, residency and not citizenship is factor for tax liability. Thus, foreign earnings of NRI citizens is not taxed under Indian I-T laws, while that of residents is. As per the laws, NRIs are those live abroad for 184 days or more for employment or business; or if they spent less than 365 days in India during the previous four years. Further, if one has spent 730 or more days in India in the previous seven years they are considered “ordinary citizens” and liable to tax.Under the circumstances, some of the NRIs will be required to declare the number of days spent in India for the seven years prior to 2013-14, the report noted.