From the Vivek Kaul Letter (IND) – People with black money were given a four-month window between June and September 2016 to come clean. So, if one had black money, and was willing to pay 15 per cent extra to the government over and above the top tax rate, the laws of the land won’t apply to them.
As Jaitley further said in his speech: “There will be no scrutiny or enquiry regarding income declared in these declarations under the Income Tax Act or the Wealth Tax Act and the declarants will have immunity from prosecution. Immunity from Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act, 1988 is also proposed subject to certain conditions.”
This is something that the prime minister Narendra Modi reiterated later on as well. Of course, this is not the first time the honest tax payer (no, that’s not an oxymoron) has been made to feel like an idiot. Nevertheless, media reports suggest that the scheme hasn’t really taken off.
A September 11, 2016, newsreport in the Business Standard newspaper points out: “The government’s effort to get people to voluntarily disclose their black money, under the Income Declaration Scheme (IDS), has had a tepid response, with only about Rs 4,000 crore reported till mid-August.”