Income Tax Department discovers ₹200 cr hidden foreign assets in searches


Income Tax Department has detected undisclosed foreign assets of over Rs 200 crore across three states, Delhi, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh. Domestic tax evasion of more than Rs 30 crore was also detected during the searches, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement. The searches were carried out on 23 July 2019 on 13 premises across the three states. The involved persons had a significant political presence for decades and they were holding a responsible position in politics, the Finance Ministry statement said. The report also said that these groups were generating a huge amount of undisclosed income over several decades. According to the evidence detected so far, undisclosed cash transactions of huge amounts in property, construction, etc were detected in the search operation.


The black money generated through political influence and by other means in India has been transferred out of the country in the form of expensive properties and assets in the names of foreign trusts or companies in tax havens, the statement said. Many such foreign holdings are reported to have been hidden in different countries including the British Virgin Islands, Panama, UAE, UK, and Jersey for decades. These foreign holdings also involve many people and companies outside the country. The Finance Ministry statement also underlines that one of the persons involved in such fraud was trying to get citizenship of a Caribbean Island.

Further, the persons involved in this case are poised to face criminal consequences under the Black Money Act, 2015, the Finance Ministry said. Adding to it, the Income Tax Department will separately charge them under the Income Tax Act, 1961. The report says that the IT department has successfully lifted the mask and the result of these searches may have multi-agency ramifications which may include Enforcement Directorate and others too. Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government has repeatedly expressed intent to check and control the flow of black money since the party came into power in 2014. The recent detection of the undisclosed foreign assets of huge amounts may bring some cheer to the government and the taxmen.