Blackmoney: India sends more than double queries to tax havens

Blackmoney: India sends more than double queries to tax havens

A progress report, presented by Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Secretary General Angel Gurria to G-20 Heads of the governments during the recent summit in Cannes, also said, "Significant additional revenues (are) expected over next two years" by India by pursuing measures related to anti-black money and counter-tax evasion.

The report covers measures undertaken by G-20 member countries to end banking information secrecy as it also chronicles India's impact after initiating measures to combat terrorist financing and money laundering in the last few years.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently attended the crucial G-20 summit that asked tax havens to adopt better norms for sharing of tax information to check menace arising out of criminal funds.

"China and India provide examples of how economies in transition are using these new agreements. Since 2009, the number of information requests to foreign authorities in connection with tax examinations and investigations has almost doubled in China and more than doubled in India," the report said.

The number of information requests by India to foreign jurisdictions in connection with tax investigations has more than doubled, it said.

During the last two years, India has negotiated 19 new Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs) and 17 new Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs). In addition, 22 existing DTAAs have been re-negotiated.

India also became a full-member of global economic body the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) last year in pursuit of its fight against black money.

The government simultaneously has strengthened its tax enforcement agencies like the Income Tax department, allowing them to create a new Directorate of Criminal Investigation to probe illicit funds including those stashed abroad. It has strengthened its Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) to detect suspicious transactions in economic channels.

"A very significant proportion of investment flowing into India, Russia and China is routed through low tax jurisdictions," the report said, adding that India is "actively participating" in the global efforts to enhance cooperation between tax authorities and law enforcement agencies to counter financial crimes and illicit flows. 

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