Clarification and FAQ on Income Declaration Scheme 2016

The Income Declaration Scheme, 2016 incorporated as Chapter IX of the Finance Act, 2016 is to come into force with effect from the 1st of June, 2016. The first part of the Tax Payer Education Series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) specifying details of the scheme and clarifying eligibility available under the same has been released by CBDT and also uploaded on the official website of the Income Tax Department www.incometaxindia.gov.in for viewing. In this regard, Circular No. 17 of 2016 dated 20th May, 2016 issued by the Board provided clarifications to 14 queries. Subsequently to clarify the scheme the Board has issued new circular no. 24 dated 27-06-2016 by incorporating new issues and their clarifications.

The above are aimed at explaining the various provisions of the Scheme with respect to eligibility, nature of assets, periods of availability, kinds of immunities available under the scheme and persons excluded from its benefits. Circumstances in which the scheme shall not apply have also been clarified.

 

CBDT Circular No. 24/2016, Dated: June 27, 2016 [F.No.142/8/2016-TPL] (TPL DIVISION)


Question No.1: If only part payment of the tax, surcharge and penalty payable on undisclosed income declared under the Scheme is made before 30.11.2016, then whether the entire declaration fails as per section 187(3) of the Finance Act, 2016 or pro-rata declaration on which tax, surcharge and penalty has been paid remains valid?

Answer: In case of part payment, the entire declaration made under the Scheme shall be invalid. The declaration under the Scheme shall be valid only when the complete payment of tax, surcharge and penalty is made on or before 30.11.2016.

Question No.2: In case of amalgamation or in case of conversion of a company into LLP, if the amalgamated entity or LLP, as the case may be, wants to declare for the year prior to amalgamation/conversion, then whether a declaration is to be filed in the name of amalgamated entity/LLP or in the name of the amalgamating company or company existing prior to conversion into LLP?

Answer: Since the amalgamating company or the company prior to conversion into LLP is no more into existence and the assets/liabilities of such erstwhile entities have been taken over by the amalgamated company/LLP, the declaration is to be made in the name of the amalgamated company or the LLP, as the case may be, for the year in which the amalgamation/conversion takes place.

Question No.3: Whether the Scheme is open only to residents or to non-residents also?

Answer: The Scheme is available to every person, whether resident or non-resident.

Question No.4: If undisclosed income relating to an assessment year prior to A.Y. 2016-17, say A.Y. 2001-02 is detected after the closure of the Scheme, then what shall be the treatment of undisclosed income so detected?

Answer: As per the provisions of section 197(c) of the Finance Act, 2016, such income of A.Y. 2001-02 shall be assessed in the year in which the notice under section 148 or 153A or 153C, as the case may be, of the Income-tax Act is issued by the Assessing Officer. Further, if such undisclosed income is detected in the form of investment in any asset then value of such asset shall be as if the asset has been acquired or made in the year in which the notice under section 148/ 153A /153C is issued and the value shall be determined in accordance with rule 3 of theRules.

Question No.5: Whether a person on whom a search has been conducted in April, 2016 but notice under section 153A is not served upto 31.05.2016, is eligible to declare undisclosed income under the Scheme?

Answer: No, in such a case time for issuance of notice under section 153A has not expired. Hence the person is not eligible to avail the Scheme in respect of assessment years for which notice under section 153A can be issued.

Question No.6: As per Circular No.17 of 2016, question No.14, it is not mandatory to attach the valuation report. But Form-1 states “attach valuation report”. How to interpret?

Answer: It is necessary for the declarant to obtain the valuation report but it is not mandatory for him to attach the same with the declaration made in Form-1. However, the jurisdictional Pr. Commissioner/ Commissioner in order to ascertain the correctness of the value of the asset quoted in Form-1 may require the declarant to file the valuation report before issuing the acknowledgment in Form-2. In such a circumstance, it will be necessary for the declarant to make the report available to the Pr. Commissioner/Commissioner.

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Question No.7: Is it mandatory to furnish PAN in the Form of declaration?

Answer: Yes, PAN is the unique identifier for all direct tax purposes. This is also necessary in order to claim the benefits and immunities available under the Scheme.

Question No.8: If any proceeding is pending before the Settlement Commission, can a person be considered eligible for the Scheme?

Answer: No, a person shall not be eligible for the Scheme in respect of assessment years for which proceeding is pending with Settlement Commission.

Question No.9: Land is acquired by the assessee in year 2001 from assessed income and is regularly disclosed in return of income. Subsequently in the year 2014, a building is constructed on the said land and the construction cost is not disclosed by the assessee. What shall be the fair market value of such building for the purposes of the Scheme?

Answer: Fair market value of land and building in such a case shall be computed in accordance with Rule 3(2) by allowing proportionate deduction in respect of asset acquired from assessed income.

Question No.10: Whether cases where summons under section 131(1A) have been issued by the Department or letter under the Non-filer Monitoring System (NMS) or under section 133(6) are issued are eligible for the Scheme?

Answer: Cases where summons under section 131(1A) have been issued by the department or letters for enquiry under NMS or under section 133(6) are issued but no notice under section 142 or 143(2) or 148 or 153A or 153C[as specified in section 196(e)] of the Finance Act, 2016 has been issued are eligible for the Scheme.

Question No.11: If notices under section 142, 143(2) or 148 have been issued after 31.05.2016 and assessee makes declaration under the Scheme then what shall be the fate of these notices?

Answer: As clarified vide Explanatory Circular No. 17 dated 20.5.2016 , a person shall not be eligible for the Scheme in respect of the assessment year for which a notice under section 142, 143(2) or 148 has been received by him on or before 31.5.2016. In a case where notice has been received after the said date, the assessee shall be eligible to make a declaration under the Scheme for the said assessment year. Such declaration shall be valid if it has not been made by suppression of facts or misrepresentation and the amount payable under the Scheme has been duly paid within the specified time. On furnishing by the declarant the certificate issued by the Pr. Commissioner/ Commissioner in Form-4 to the Assessing Officer, the proceedings initiated vide notice under section 142, 143(2) or 148 shall be deemed to have been closed.

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CBDT Circular No. 17/2016, Dated: May 20, 2016 [F.No.142/8/2016-TPL] (TPL DIVISION)


The Income Declaration Scheme, 2016 (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Scheme’) incorporated as Chapter IX of the Finance Act, 2016 provides an opportunity to persons who have not paid full taxes in the past to come forward and declare the undisclosed income and pay tax, surcharge and penalty totaling in all the 45% of such undisclosed income declared. The Income Declaration Scheme Rules, 2016 (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Rules’) have been notified. In regard to the scheme queries have been received from the public about the scope of the scheme and the procedure to be followed. The Board has considered the same and decided to clarify the points raised by issue of a circular in the form of questions and answers as follows.-

Question No.1: Where an undisclosed income in the form of investment in asset is declared under the Scheme and tax, surcharge and penalty is paid on the fair market value of the asset as on 01.06.2016, then will the declarant be liable for capital gains on sale of such asset in the future? If yes, then how will the capital gains in such case be computed?

Answer: Yes, the declarant will be liable for capital gains under the Income-tax Act on sale of such asset in future. As per the current provisions of the Income-tax Act, the capital gains is computed by deducting cost of acquisition from the sale price. However, since the asset will be taxed at its fair market value the cost of acquisition for the purpose of Capital Gains shall be the fair market value as on 01.06.2016 and the period of holding shall start from the said date (i.e. the date of determination of fair market value for the purposes of the Scheme).

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Question No.2: Where a notice under section 142(1)/ 143(2)/ 148/ 153A/ 153C of the Income-tax Act has been issued to a person for an assessment year will he be ineligible from making a declaration under the Scheme?

Answer: The person will only be ineligible from declaration for those assessment years for which a notice under section 142(1)/143(2)/148/153A/153C is issued and the proceeding is pending before the Assessing Officer. He is free to declare undisclosed income for other years for which no notice under above referred sections has been issued.

Question No.3: As per the Scheme, declaration cannot be made where an undisclosed asset has been acquired during any previous year relevant to an assessment year for which a notice under section 142, 143(2), 148, 153A or 153C of the Income-tax Act has been issued. If the notice has been issued but not served on the declarant then how will he come to know whether the notice has been issued?

Answer: The declarant will not be eligible for declaration under the Scheme where the undisclosed income relates to the assessment year where a notice under section 142, 143(2), 148, 153A or 153C of the Income-tax Act has been issued and served on the declarant on or before 31st day of May, 2016. The declarant is required to file a declaration regarding receipt of any such notice in Form-1.

Question No.4: In a case where the undisclosed income is represented in the form of investment in asset and such asset is partly from income that has been assessed to tax earlier, then what shall be the method of computation of undisclosed income represented by such undisclosed asset for the purposes of the Scheme?

Answer: As per sub-rule (2) of rule 3 of the Income Declaration Scheme Rules, 2016, where investment in any asset is partly from an income which has been assessed to tax, the undisclosed income represented in form of such asset will be the fair market value of the asset determined in accordance with sub-rule (1) of rule 3 as reduced by an amount which bears to the value of the asset as on the 1.6.2016, the same proportion as the assessed income bears to the total cost of the asset. This is illustrated by an example as under:

Investment in acquisition of asset in previous year 2013-14 is of Rs.500 out of which Rs.200 relates to income assessed to tax in A.Y. 2012-13 and Rs.300 is from undisclosed income pertaining to previous year 2013-14. The fair market value of the asset as on 01.06.2016 is Rs.1500.

The undisclosed income represented by this asset under the scheme shall be:

1500 minus (1500 X 200 ) = Rs.900
500

Question No.5: Can a declaration be made of undisclosed income which has been assessed to tax and the case is pending before an Appellate Authority?

Answer: As per section 189 of the Finance Act, 2016, the declarant is not entitled to re-open any assessment or reassessment made under the Income-tax Act. Therefore, he is not entitled to avail the tax compliance in respect of such income. However, he can declare other undisclosed income for the said assessment year which has not been assessed under the Income-tax Act.

Question No.6: Can a person against whom a search/survey operation has been initiated file declaration under the Scheme?

Answer: (a) The person is not eligible to make a declaration under the Scheme if a search has been initiated and the time for issuance of notice under section 153A has not expired, even if such notice for the relevant assessment year has not been issued. In this case, however, the person is eligible to file a declaration in respect of an undisclosed income in relation to an assessment year which is prior to assessment years relevant for the purpose of notice under section 153A.

(b) In case of survey operation the person is barred from making a declaration under the Scheme in respect of an undisclosed income in which the survey was conducted. The person is, however, eligible to make a declaration in respect of an undisclosed income of any other previous year.

Question No. 7: Where a search/survey operation was conducted and the assessment has been completed but certain income was neither disclosed nor assessed, then whether such unassessed income can be declared under the Scheme?

Answer: Yes, such undisclosed income can be declared under the Scheme.

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Question No.8: What are the consequences if no declaration under the Scheme is made in respect of undisclosed income prior to the commencement of the Scheme?

Answer: As per section 197(c) of the Finance Act, 2016, where any income has accrued or arisen or received or any asset has been acquired out of such income prior to the commencement of the Scheme and no declaration is made under the Scheme, then such income shall be deemed to have been accrued, arisen or received or the value of the asset acquired out of such income shall be deemed to have been acquired in the year in which a notice under section 142/143(2)/148/153A/153C is issued by the Assessing Officer and the provisions of the Income-tax Act shall apply accordingly.

Question No.9: If a declaration of undisclosed income is made under the Scheme and the same was found ineligible due to the reasons listed in section 196 of the Finance Act, 2016, then will the person be liable for consequences under section 197(c) of the Finance Act, 2016?

Answer: In respect of such undisclosed income which has been duly declared in good faith but not found eligible, then such income shall not be hit by section 197(c) of the Finance Act, 2016. However, such undisclosed income may be assessed under the normal provisions of the Income-tax Act, 1961.

Question No.10: If a person declares only a part of his undisclosed income under the Scheme, then will he get immunity under the Scheme in respect of the part income declared?

Answer: It is expected that one should declare all his undisclosed income. However, in such a case the person will get immunity as per the provisions of the Scheme in respect of the undisclosed income declared under the Scheme and no immunity will be available in respect of the undisclosed income which is not declared.

Question No.11: Can a person declare under the Scheme his undisclosed income which has been acquired from money earned through corruption?

Answer: No. As per section 196(b) of the Finance Act, 2016, the Scheme shall not apply, inter-alia, in relation to prosecution of any offence punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. Therefore, declaration of such undisclosed income cannot be made under the Scheme. However, if such a declaration is made and in an event it is found that the income represented money earned through corruption it would amount to misrepresentation of facts and the declaration shall be void under section 193 of the Finance Act, 2016. If a declaration is held as void, the provisions of the Income-tax Act shall apply in respect of such income as they apply in relation to any other undisclosed income.

Question No.12: Whether at the time of declaration under the Scheme, will the Principal Commissioner/ Commissioner do any enquiry in respect of the declaration made?

Answer: After the declaration is made the Principal Commissioner/ Commissioner will enquire whether any proceeding under section 142(1)/143(2)/148/153A/153C is pending for the assessment year for which declaration has been made. Apart from this no other enquiry will be conducted by him at the time of declaration.

Question No.13: Will the declarations made under the Scheme be kept confidential?

Answer: The Scheme incorporates the provisions of section 138 of the Income-tax Act relating to disclosure of information in respect of assessees. Therefore, the information in respect of declaration made is confidential as in the case of return of income filed by assessees.

Question No.14: Is it necessary to file a valuation report of an undisclosed income represented in the form of investment in asset along with the declaration under the Scheme?

Answer: It is not mandatory to file the valuation report of the undisclosed income represented in the form of investment in asset along with the declaration. However, the declarant should have the valuation report. While e-filing the declaration on the departmental website a facility for uploading the documents will be available.