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Ensure single point contact for black money disclosures: CBDT

To ensure confidentiality, the Income Tax Department has mandated only senior officers to be a single point of contact for those making disclosures under the one-time window provided to black money holders to come clean.

The four-month window under the Income Declaration Scheme 2016, which opened on June 1, allows domestic black money holders to declare their ill-gotten wealth by paying a tax and penalty totalling 45 per cent.

The CBDT has also asked officers to make “all out” efforts to ensure tax payers are informed and adequately guided about the scheme.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has mandated only the jurisdictional Principal Commissioner or Commission of Income Tax as the designated authority to whom disclosures are to be made.

“Such Pr CIIT/CIT should be the one and only point of contact with the respective declarant. The idea is to ensure that the declarant is not exposed to multiple persons in the office so that his confidentiality is not compromised and he is able to file the declaration in a hassle free manner,” the CBDT said in an office memorandum.

It also asked the designated officers to provide all “procedural facilities” at the time of disclosure so as to avoid the requirement of any additional interaction with anyone else in the office.

“All records related to IDS-2016 must be kept in the personal custody of the respective Principal CIT /CIT officer in a safe and secure manner,” it added.

CBDT has also directed that in every city where Principal Commissioner is station, a “facilitation centre” in the nature of help desk may be opened for disseminating information about the scheme.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had earlier said people with undisclosed assets should use the limited period income declaration window if they want to “sleep well”.

“I will advise all those who have any undisclosed asset to declare it and pay the tax and sleep well. Otherwise, the way the disclosures are becoming more and more public, they will run into serious trouble,” Jaitley had said.

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