The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman Nitin Gupta said the Income Tax Department will analyse the bank accounts of Indian nationals and organisations it received from Swiss Bank and will take action under the black money Act in case any tax evasion was found.
In an exclusive interview with ANI, Nitin Gupta, who recently got an extension for nine months in tenure, said, “We have received information about bank accounts of Indian nationals and organisations in the Swiss Bank as part of the annual automatic information exchange under which Switzerland has shared particulars of nearly 36 lakh financial accounts with 104 countries.”
The latest set of information shared by Swiss authorities as part of the annual automatic information exchange, was notably the fifth such tranche. The first such exchange with India took place in 2019.
“Our department (will) work on that information. If some Indian nationals have assets in foreign countries and had not informed the Income Tax department and are liable to pay taxes, we act against such persons under the black money act,” Mr Gupta added.
In October 2022, India received the fourth tranche of information on financial accounts from Switzerland since the two countries entered into an Automatic Exchange Of Information (AEOI) agreement in 2018, in order to improve tax discipline and avert potential evasion.
The annual exchange of information allows countries to verify whether taxpayers have correctly declared their financial accounts abroad in their tax returns.
The exercise by the Swiss authorities is strictly meant for “tax only” purposes. In India, the data is kept in the custody of and for action by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).
In early January 2023, Switzerland’s ambassador to India Ralf Heckner had said he “almost heard nothing” on black money in the last two years of his tenure and that the matter was dealt with in a bilateral treaty between Switzerland and India by means of an automatic exchange of banking information between the two countries.
The Swiss envoy had said black money was “not an issue anymore.”
“I have been Swiss ambassador for more than two years and I almost heard nothing or hardly anything about black money. The black money issue has been dealt with by a bilateral treaty between Switzerland and India in 2018 on the automatic exchange of banking information between Switzerland and India (in both directions),” the Swiss ambassador had told ANI.
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