The government has deputed eight senior IRS officers to officiate as First Secretaries in the newly-created Income Tax overseas units in countries like the US, the UK and Japan as part of efforts to curb the problem of blackmoney and illegal funds stashed away abroad.
The Income Tax officials, having tenure of three years, will function from the Indian Missions in Washington DC (the US), London (the UK), Berlin (Germany), Paris (France), The Hague (Netherlands), Abu Dhabi (the UAE), Cyprus (Nicosia) and Japan (Tokyo).
The orders for the deputation of an Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer to Japan were awaited and the same were issued last evening.
The units will be operational very soon as these officers will join in some time at their designated locations, official sources said.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, during his Budget speech, had made a big allocation for setting up these I-T overseas offices.
While the initial budgetary allocation for these units was Rs 2.41 crore in the last fiscal, it has been raised to Rs 18.20 crore in the current year.
“The officials deputed are adept at handling tax evasion cases and international tax treaties and will also help the department liaise with authorities of these countries in tax cases including various high-profile cases which the I-T is currently investigating,” a senior Finance Ministry official said.
The officials at these units will also help investors from abroad understand Indian tax laws and procedures so that they can make informed decisions, the official said.
The units would also obtain information on tax and financial data of investments made by individuals and institutions in these countries and facilitate any data on investment or routing of money in the country and vice-versa.
“This information helps during investigations in cases of tax evasion and ensuring tax compliance under the provisions of the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) and other tax treaties,” the official said.
As a number of I-T probes are linked to these countries, the Finance Ministry expects that by having an office in these nations, it would help expedite the investigation process.
Two such units in Singapore and Mauritius are already operational since 2010.