A new law called ‘THE BLACK MONEY (UNDISCLOSED FOREIGN INCOME AND ASSETS) AND IMPOSITION OF TAX ACT, 2015’ is passed by the parliament to make provisions to deal with the problem of the Black money that is undisclosed foreign income and assets, the procedure for dealing with such income and assets and to provide for the imposition of tax on any undisclosed foreign income and asset held outside India and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. The Black Money (Undisclosed foreign income and assets) and Imposition of tax Act, 2015 is drafted in a manner to be most simple to administer yet act as a strong deterrent and curb the menace of black money stashed abroad by Indians. It is claimed that the wording of the penal provisions is kept simple to leave almost no scope for differing interpretations of the Courts. And that perhaps is why new legislation is thought proper than the existing Income tax Act, 1961.
The penalty provisions under Chapter IV of 2015 Act do not provide for any satisfaction pre-condition as in the existing 1961 Act that the person concerned has concealed the income or particulars thereof. Also, there is no discretion to levy or not to levy penalty much less a provision for levy of minimum penalty as in the existing Act. The provisions of Chapter IV therefore do not give any scope for much interpretation.
In the consequence, the income tax return form requires returning Indians to disclose foreign assets. Any failure in this regard could invite penalties under the black money law of Rs. 10 lacs. The Kerala High Court did not heed to the story that the assessee was under the bona fide belief that disclosure under Schedule FA was to be made only from the next assessment year. He also lost on time for revision in this case so that he chose the writ course even before exercising his right to challenge the penalty in appeal before the ITAT. While writing that the applicant’s submissions had no force or merit it directed him to file an appeal as the Court cannot exercise the role of an appellate authority