Tuesday, June 22, 2021
HomeBusinessLess than half of HSBC list accounts have no money: SIT report

Less than half of HSBC list accounts have no money: SIT report

HSBC-list-accountsThe Special Investigation Team (SIT) on blackmoney has found that less than half of the HSBC bank list of over 600 accounts did not have any money while more than hundred names were a repeat, hampering the possibility of any action against them.

The Income Tax department is now mulling prosecution against 300 entities figuring in the list of 628 entries in the HSBC Geneva list given to the Supreme Court recently, official sources said.

The SIT found and reported that there was no amount shown in almost 289 HSBC Geneva entries, while 122 of them were repeated twice in the same list.

“The SIT found that the biggest impediment in taking action against the people listed in this particular lot was that there were no details about the operations of these accounts. It was not reflected in the list as to when these accounts were opened and what was their transaction history,” the sources said.

The report of the SIT, headed by retired Supreme Court Judge M B Shah with Justice (retd) Arijit Pasayat as its Vice-Chairman, said the I-T department had undertaken 150 search or survey operations against those named in the list but prosecution proceedings were yet not final against them.

“Now that this list has been handed over to the apex Court and the cases are nearing time barring stage by the end of this fiscal, the department is mulling to launch prosecution in close to 300 cases,” they said.

The SIT has also sought “renegotiation” of various tax information exchange treaties which India has with various countries and tax haven nations in order to effectively curb the menace of illegal funds stashed abroad.

In the report submitted to the government early this year, the SIT has cited the areas of concern for the investigating and enforcement agencies which are tasked to keep a check on these ‘black’ funds and illegal economy.

“The SIT has asked the government to take up renegotiation of the existing Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs) and the Tax Information Exchange Treaties (TIEAs) in context of some specific countries.

“This is a time-consuming affair but an early start would help the country in accomplishing its desire to crack down on illegal funds kept overseas by Indians,” official sources said quoting the SIT report.

As a consequence of this specific request, the government told the SIT that the Finance Ministry has already begun the exercise in this direction.

“The government informed the SIT that out of the 78 DTAAs India had, renegotiation has been taken up with 75 countries for providing banking information under this legal mode of exchange of tax information. The other three countries– Tajikistan, Iceland and Myanmar– already have this arrangement,” sources said.

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