Some ‘Paradise Papers’ accounts were already being probed

Multi-agency group headed by CBDT chairman will now monitor investigations related to the disclosures.

Some of the offshore accounts revealed in the Paradise Papers were already being probed by the Income Tax Department of India. A reconstituted multi-agency group will now also monitor investigations related to the Paradise Papers. The data will be matched with income tax returns filed by the entities involved to check for discrepancies. Individuals and entities that declared foreign assets under the disclosure scheme in 2015 will benefit from the immunity that it provides. 
 
"We find that some of the cases are already under our probe," Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) chairman Sushil Chandra said. "Any latest information will be further investigated." 
 
The multi-agency group looking at the Paradise Papers cases will be headed by the CBDT chairman and include representatives of the Enforcement Directorate, Reserve Bank of India and the Financial Intelligence Unit, CBDT said. The income tax department's investigation units have been alerted to take note of the revelations for immediate appropriate action. 
 
The I-T department will issue notices seeking information on overseas assets named in media reports within a fortnight. The persons named may be asked to file affidavits stating they have no such accounts. They can also be asked to give statements on oath. 
 
As for whether leaked or stolen data can be used for reassessment, it's a grey area said the people cited above. The stand taken by assessing officers is that it can be used since the department has not stolen the data and the information is in the public domain. 
 
The Paradise Papers indicate that out of 180 countries represented in the data of offshore entities held by persons of different nationalities, India ranks 19 in terms of number of names. 
The CBDT statement said 714 Indians reportedly appear in the tally. The leaked documents include files from a smaller, family owned trust company, Asiaciti (Singapore), and from company registries in 19 secrecy jurisdictions, it said. 
 
Source: Economic Times

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