The CBDT has unveiled new guidelines for tracing tax defaulters. New guidelines have been notified for granting reward to the informants providing credible information of whereabouts or assets of tax defaulters. Credible information means information which ultimately results in recovery of taxes, penalties, interest or other amount from the defaulter.
When guidelines will be applicable?
• If information is provided on or after March 31, 2015.
• Information is not in the knowledge of department.
• Jurisdictional Pr. CCIT or CIT is satisfied that tax could not be recovered despite all possible efforts having been made to trace the defaulter or his assets.
Amount of Reward
Amount of reward will not exceed 10% of the tax recovery directly relating to information provided by informant, subject to a limit of Rs. 15 lakhs. However, the CBDT may ignore such limit on basis of recommendation of specified Committee.
Who will be considered as informant?
A person will be considered to be an informant eligible for reward if he furnishes specific information in relation to assets or untraceable tax defaulters concerning irrecoverable taxes.
What type of information will be considered?
Information means specific information in relation to whereabouts of tax defaulter or his assets. The information provided must be supported by facts/documents and should not be speculative, vague of general nature or an educated guess.
However, if documents or supporting evidence are known to the informant but are not in his possession, the informant should describe these documents and identify their location to the best of his ability.
Where to submit such information?
The information can be submitted to the jurisdictional Pr. CCIT/CCIT/Pr.CIT of the tax defaulter.
Informant will be required to furnish a written statement regarding whereabouts of tax defaulter or his assets in Annexure B.
Identity of informant
The identity of informant shall be kept secret if so desired by him. No information relating to informants or the rewards paid to them shall be disclosed to any authority except in accordance with any law for the time being in force.
Eligible cases to get reward
The Scheme is confined to only cases where –
(a) Assessee is not traceable,
(b) There are no or inadequate assets for recovery,
(c) Self-assessment tax is outstanding for more than six months,
(d) TDS has been deducted but not deposited for more than 6 months.
and their names have been published in public domain under Section 287 of the income-tax Act
Prohibition of reward
No reward shall be granted if
(1) If informant is a Government servant who furnishes information or evidence obtained by him in the course of his normal duties as a Government servant; or
(2) When informant is required by law to disclose the information to the department; or
(3) The informant has access to the information on the basis of a contract with the Government; or
Criteria for determining reward
While determining the reward amount the competent authority shall keep in view the following:
(1) Accuracy of information given by informant,
(2) Extent and nature of help rendered by informant
(3) Risk and expenses incurred for securing and furnishing such information,
(4) Quantum of tax recovered from such information etc.
Authorities competent to grant award
Pr. CCIT or Chief CIT will be competent to grant award in whose charge the arrears, from which recovery is made, are recorded. However, if the amount of reward exceeds one lakh rupees then the same should be approved by a committee of three officers.
Information to be furnished by informant in Annexure B
(a) His name, address, date of birth, PAN, etc.
(b) Name and PAN of tax defaulter
(c) Location of tax defaulter or details of assets from which recovery of demand can be made
(d) Particulars of documents furnished, if any
(e) How informant has obtained information or documents in respect of tax defaulter
(f) Describe your present or past relationship with tax defaulter