CBDT aims to Complete Panama Paradise Papers probe

1. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has set a deadline for the completion of the Panama and Paradise Papers probe. It has intimated the tax department’s investigation wing to complete the investigation by March 31 as per a report by Moneycontrol

2. A source in the Enforcement Directorate told Moneycontrol, “Currently, we are investigating these cases under the Foreign Exchange Management Act. Once the tax department starts filing prosecution cases, we have the base to convert our case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.”

3. In 2016, around 426 Indian entities with offshore accounts were under the scrutiny of the income tax department. It was also found that some of the popular personalities were involved in Panama Paradise Papers probe.

4. The department had uncovered over Rs 1,000 crores of undisclosed income in Panama Paradise Papers probe alone, in which several prominent personalities including Amitabh Bachhan, Aishwarya Rai, Sameer Gehlaut and KP Singh from DLF were named.

5. Much of the data on Paradise Papers was disclosed by Appleby, a Bermuda-based legal services provider and Singapore-based Asiaciti, that facilitated setting up of offshore firms with low or zero tax rates.

6. The department may file prosecution against the entities after completing the investigation, to assist other agencies to initiate action.

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