Wary about secret bank accouts, IT asks for oath
The CBDT took the decision in order to guard against the possible leakage of names in its secret bank accounts list.
New Delhi: In order to guard against possible leakage of names figuring in the secret bank accounts lists it has received from foreign shores, the CBDT has ordered the IT department to obtain a signed undertaking from any government entity or department who demands the data for their own probe.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) fears that if these names are leaked and they are publicised, global financial bodies like OECD and other tax exchange treaty countries will either stop or grow reluctant to share such data with India as this will scare away foreign investors in their respective economies.
The CBDT, which at present in is possession of names in secret bank accounts like that of Liechtenstein's LGT Bank provided reportedly by the German government and over 9,900 pieces of information from several countries regarding illegal funds stashed abroad by Indian citizens, has instructed the
Income Tax department to obtain a signed statement from those wanting it by stating that the data would only be used for "tax purposes" and "tax evasion investigation" and that its secrecy would be the responsibility of the official who takes it under his name.
While the 'Top Secret' names have been circulated to a number of I-T investigation units in Delhi, Mumbai, Kochi and Ahmedabad among others, officials from the newly created Directorate of Criminal Investigation (I-T), tax assessment ranges and International Taxation units require the information for taking legal action as per their mandate.
"Any official from the I-T department who needs the names and associated data about these foreign accounts has been asked to undertake an oath by signing an undertaking that it will only be used for tax purposes. The officials who want to obtain names on these lists are being monitored strictly," a top IT source said.