Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has reconstituted a multi-agency group to monitor investigations related to the Paradise Papers. This multi-agency group will be headed by Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) chairman Sushil Chandra and includes representatives of the Enforcement Directorate.
About Paradise Papers:
On November 5, 2017, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) released ‘The Paradise Papers’, a global investigation that revealed as to how some of the world’s most powerful/famous people and business entities moved money to and from 19 tax havens to evade taxes through trusts, foundations and shell companies.
- Information revealed by ‘The Paradise Papers’ is based on leaked data of offshore law firms and the company registries located in world’s most secretive countries. Most of the data leak came from Appleby, a Bermuda-based legal services provider.
- The data was procured by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and was shared with ICIJ.
- Names of individuals and business entities located across 180 countries around world have surfaced in this investigation.
- Among these countries, India ranks 19th in terms of the number of names. Information pertaining to financial activities of 714 Indians has been provided in ‘The Paradise Papers’.
Investigation to be conducted by Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT):
CBDT has stated that India’s tax authorities were already investigating some of the offshore accounts revealed in the Paradise Papers.
- Income Tax Department officials have been alerted to use the information from Paradise Papers to expedite inquiries. Income tax returns filed by individuals and entities featuring in Paradise Papers will be matched with the exposed data to check for discrepancies.
- In case of discrepancies, notices will be issued to seek information on overseas assets of such individuals and entities.
- However, all the individuals and entities that declared foreign assets under the disclosure scheme in 2015 will benefit from the immunity that it provides.