Govt introduces reward scheme up to Rs 1 cr for info on benami transactions

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New Delhi: The union government on Friday launched a reward scheme for those who give information on benami transactions, according to a circular issued by the Income Tax Department.

Under the new scheme named Benami Transactions Informants Reward Scheme, 2018, the informers of benami properties will be able to earn up to Rs 1 crore rewards. The objective of the scheme is to encourage people’s participation in the Income Tax Department’s efforts to unearth black money and to reduce tax evasion, the circular said.

“It was found in many cases that black money was invested in properties in the names of others, even though benefits were enjoyed by the investor concealing his beneficial ownership in his tax returns. The Government had earlier amended Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988, by Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 to make the law stronger,” the I-T circular stated.

According to the I-T circular, the reward scheme aimed at encouraging people to give information about benami transactions and properties as well as income earned on such properties by such hidden investors and beneficial owners.

Under the Benami Transactions Informants Reward Scheme, 2018, individuals will have to give specific information in the prescribed manner to the Joint or Additional Commissioners of Benami Prohibition Units (BPUs) to earn the reward up to Rs 1 crore.

Foreigners will also be eligible for such reward. Identity of the persons giving information will not be disclosed and strict confidentiality shall be maintained, the circular said.

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