The Income Tax Department has found Rs 19,447 crore in black money following investigations into the Panama Papers leak, including in accounts in HSBC Banks in Switzerland, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Friday.
I-T sleuths had found more than Rs 11,010 crore credited into undisclosed foreign accounts, he told the Lok Sabha in reply to a query. Undisclosed income of about Rs 8,437 crore was taxed till May 2017.
“Concealment penalty of Rs 1,287 crore was levied in 162 cases, and 199 criminal prosecution complaints were filed in 84 cases,” the minister told Parliament.
Jaitley further said that as per information from the French government under the Double Taxation Avoidance Convention between India and France, at least 628 Indians hold accounts in HSBC Bank in Switzerland.
“The government has proactively engaged with foreign governments for exchange of information under available instruments,” the finance minister said in his reply. “As part of investigations in undisclosed foreign asset cases of Indians during last three years, there has been about three-fold increase in number of requests made by the Indian competent authorities under tax treaties to their counter parts abroad.”
However, he said the government had no official estimate of the amount of black money stashed by Indians in banks abroad.
The Panama Papers leak
In April 2016, a major leak of millions of documents from the database of a Panama-based law firm – Mossack Fonseca – had revealed the hidden offshore wealth of some of the world’s top leaders and celebrities. The list had included 500 Indians. The Centre had formed a Multi-Agency Group to investigate the allegations.