After Demonetisation, Narendera Modi Targets Benami Properties
By MEHER ONISA : 23-Dec-2016
NEW DELHI: With 2017, the Income Tax sleuths will raid over the doors of the “benamidar" or benami property holder who would be subjected to rigorous imprisonment of 1 to 7 years.
Prime Minister Modi has made the resolution to eradicate corruption and black money from the face of India.
Modi government ploughed the ground by redesigning the original Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act, 1988 with which the benami property owners are entitled to stern punishments and penalty in the scorching times to come.
The amended act has been enforced on 1 November 2016 which gave more teeth to the IT Department to crunch away the benami properties and transaction offenders.
The Benami Transaction Act:
In 1993-94 and 1994-95 two alternative budgets were passed to the Delhi-based Citizens' Parliament comprising of 230 affluent citizens and politicians.
Professor Arun Kumar The former faculty of Economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University was the person who made the two budgets and was the authoritarian to check the black money. He had proposed levying wealth tax and property tax on properties of all kinds.
How to Identify the Benami Property Holders?
About 62 percent of India’s GDP which means over Rs 93 lakh crore amounts to the black economy in India. Identifying the benami property holders becomes a nut cracking task. It is not possible for the tax department to spot and pick them at once.
Amended Benami Transaction Act:
The old Benami Transactions Act was a fragile one. That is the reason it had undergone amendments. The amended act facilitates the IT to bring about inquiries into any person, place, documents or property during investigation into the benami property transaction.
Apart from jail sentence and penalty up to 25 percent, the benami property can be confiscated. The property rights are held with the Centre that can make use of the property in favour of the rural development plans.
Under bogus name, extreme action will be taken against both the actual owner and the property holder.
The benamidars invest black money in purchasing property, houses, flats, commercial spaces, lands through multiple channels and use bank accounts of unidentified people.
The real owner like politicians, bureaucrats would always remain untracked and hidden.
But now, information of all sorts is retrievable from registration office, municipal corporation record, online registration records, and Annual Information Report filed by the IT department.
Tracking Mechanism to Entrap the Benami Holders:
According to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) it will be difficult for benami property owners to escape from IT radar.
The tax authority will be utilizing cutting edge tools to track benami property holders. 360-degree profiling of people filing tax returns will be in practice.
The Intelligence and Criminal Investigation wing of the Income Tax at CBDT will decant the data from multiple sources like banks, Financial Intelligence Units, Registrar of properties, Annual Information Report, hotels, grand weddings, travel agencies, high-value property and commodity purchases like consumer durables, house, cars, jewellery, payments made through e-transactions that attract tax collected at source (TCS) and tax deducted at source (TDS).