Citizens' Issues
Black money: Disclosers to get immunity under FEMA, PMLA
The government on Monday said immunity from prosecution would be given under specific laws to those declaring undisclosed foreign assets under the compliance window of the new Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) Act.
 
Releasing a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs), the finance ministry said disclosures made under the said Act would have "immunity from prosecution under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), Income Tax Act, Wealth Tax Act, Companies Act and Customs Act".
 
It, however, does not provide immunity from prosecution under any other statute.
 
Illustrating with an example, the ministry said if the undisclosed asset has been acquired out of the proceeds of sale of protected animals, the person will not be eligible for immunity under the Wildlife (Protection) Act.
 
The offence of wilful attempt to evade tax will also not be an offence under the PMLA, the FAQs said.
 
The one-time 90-day compliance window granted to foreign asset holders to make a declaration, however, does not guarantee immunity for wealth generated from corruption, it added.
 
On the compliance rule that bars persons against whom the government has prior information, the FAQs said declarations by such persons will be dealt under the Income Tax Act and not under the black money law that came into force last week.
 
This concession will be available only to those who have not received any intimation from the tax department having prior information about their foreign assets.
 
Persons making declarations will be intimated on whether the government has any prior information by October 31, a month after the end of the 90-day compliance window on September 30.
 
The ministry last week notified September 30 as the expiry date of the compliance window, while allowing those with undisclosed income and assets abroad time till December 31 to pay the levies.
 
"Hence, while people will have three months to declare their undeclared assets, they will have another three months to pay the penalties and taxes on the said assets," a finance ministry press release said here.
 
The government last week also notified rules for calculating income and assets abroad under the Black Money Act.
 
The value of the overseas assets, including immovable property, jewellery and precious stones, archaeological collections and paintings, shares and securities and shares in unlisted firms abroad will be calculated at the fair market value, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said in a notification here.
 
The value of an overseas bank account will be the sum of all deposits made in the account since its opening, the CBDT said.
 
The Black Money Act, for the first time, allows levy of tax in India on assets kept abroad.
 
Unlawful, undisclosed income abroad has been taxed under this law at the rate of 30 percent with an additional 30 percent penalty.
 
The law provides for a compliance window for declaring and paying penalty. Failure to meet the compliance timeline will attract an additional penalty of 90 percent for a total tax liability of 120 percent on the quantum of black money stashed abroad.
 
Admitting that there was no official estimation on black money within India or stashed abroad, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told parliament during its last budget session that the government was examining the reports of three institutes on the matter.
 
An unofficial estimate of illegal money stashed overseas puts it somewhere between $466 billion and $1.4 trillion.
 

User

Door open for talks with Greece: Germany, France
French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said "The door remains open for discussions," after a meeting held following Greek voters rejected creditors' bailout terms in a referendum Sunday.
 
"There is no longer enough time, and there is an urgency, for Greece, as well as for Europe," said Francois Hollande at the press conference in the Elysee, Xinhua reported.
 
For the French president, the door remains open for discussions, so "it is time for the government of Tsipras to make serious and credible proposals to show the willingness of staying in the eurozone."
 
Accepting the result of Greece's referendum, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Europe is now waiting for the "precise" proposals of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras that will bring Greece prosperity.
 
Pointing out the "generosity" of the last proposal proposed to Greece, Merkel called on each country of the European Union to "fulfill its own responsibility" and to show solidarity.
 
The "No" result from Sunday's referendum in Greece already provoked worries in the financial markets around the world, especially in Europe, with all major stock markets sliding at the end of the trading day.
 
To date, Greece has 21.2 billion euros in outstanding obligations to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Failing to make a repayment of about 1.5 billion euros to the IMF on June 30, Greece became the first advanced economy default on IMF debt. 

User

Greece appoints new finance minister, creditors ponder post-No vote scenario
Greece on Monday appointed a new finance minister after Yanis Varoufakis announced his resignation even as the country voted “No” to a bailout offer in a landmark referendum. Heads of European institutions held a teleconference to discuss the consequences of the historic vote.
 
Euclid Tsakalotos, the deputy foreign minister of international economic affairs and chief coordinator of the country's negotiating team over the debt deal with lenders, replaced Varoufakis. He will be sworn in at the presidential mansion in the evening, an official announcement said.
 
In a posting on his website, Varoufakis said the decision was made in view of "a certain 'preference' by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted 'partners', for my 'absence' from its meetings".
 
“Soon after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted ‘partners’, for my ‘absence’ from its meetings; an idea that the Prime Minister (Alexis Tsipras) judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement,” he said. 
 
“For this reason, I am leaving the ministry of finance today.”
 
“I consider it my duty to help Alexis Tsipras exploit, as he sees fit, the capital that the Greek people granted us through yesterday’s referendum," Varoufakis said.
 
Tsipras later thanked Varoufakis for his "ceaseless efforts" to defend the interests of Greece in negotiations with creditors, according to government spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis.
 
Sakellaridis said the government would announce a new finance minister following a meeting between Tsipras and Greek political party leaders at the presidential palace, with the exception of the Neo-Nazi party, Efe news agency reported.
 
"The prime minister feels the need to thank him (Varoufakis) for his ceaseless efforts to promote the positions of the government and the interests of the Greek people under very difficult circumstances," the spokesman conveyed.
 
Meanwhile, heads of European institutions, in particular the European Commission (EC), the European Council, the Eurogroup and the European Central Bank (ECB), held a teleconference on Monday morning to discuss the Greek situation in light of the country's "No" vote in Sunday's bailout referendum.
 
Presidents Jean-Claude Juncker of EC, Doland Tusk of the European Council, Jeroen Dijsselbloem of the Eurogroup and Mario Draghi of the ECB took part in the meeting, Efe news agency reported.
 
Juncker said he respected the decision of the Greek citizens, and explained the democratically elected leaders of the 18 countries of the Eurozone had been talking since Sunday night.
 
The matter will be further addressed on Tuesday before the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, according to the EC president.
 
Meanwhile, Dijsselbloem said that the result of the Greek referendum has been noted.
 
"This result is very regrettable for the future of Greece. For recovery of the Greek economy, difficult measures and reforms are inevitable. We will now wait for the initiatives of the Greek authorities. The Eurogroup will discuss the state of play on Tuesday, July 7," he added.
 
In Paris, French Finance Minister Michel Sapin asked the anti-austerity Greek government to come up with serious and strong proposals to reach a crucial deal as the "No" vote in Sunday's referendum "does not fix anything".
 
"It's up to the Greek government to make proposals now. The vote does not fix anything automatically. It's a refusal of an attitude," Sapin said.
 
Speaking to the local broadcaster Europe 1, Sapin acknowledged that "the thread of dialogue is very tenuous", and urged Athens "to show that it is serious about negotiation and make serious and solid proposals" in order to bridge differences with its creditors and help the debt-ridden country get back again on its feet.
 
"There is a risk of leaving the euro but there is no automatic exit. In the same way, the vote doesn't mean automatically that Greece stays in the euro. What will determine whether it stays or leaves is the quality of negotiations that will start," the French minister added.
 
Sapin reiterated France's stance to keep Greece among the member countries of the single-currency bloc, Xinhua news agency reported. He also pledged to help the left-wing Greek government to alleviate the country's debt burden without giving accurate proposals.
 
In London, British Prime Minister David Cameron chaired a meeting of senior ministers and officials to assess the impact on Britain of Greece's "No" vote on its austerity package.
 
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and Chancellor George Osborne were present at the meeting.
 
The headquarters of the executive arm of the British government said in a statement that contingency plans were already in place following the "decisive" referendum outcome. BBC reported.
 
According to the BBC report, the British government could not "stand back" from events in Greece, with over two million Britons visiting the country each year and over 40,000 residing there.
 
Before the vote, Cameron had predicted Greece would leave the eurozone if it voted "No" because it would be a "very significant default and a very significant problem", and the chancellor has warned Britain "cannot be immune" from the Greek crisis.

User

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)