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India offers amnesty for citizens with undeclared gold


India’s finance ministry has reportedly proposed an amnesty program for citizens holding undeclared gold. The government plans to require people to report all their gold reserves to the tax authorities and pay taxes. The proposal was made to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

New proposed gold amnesty program

India’s finance ministry is considering “an amnesty program for residents with illicit gold reserves,” Bloomberg reported Thursday, noting that the proposal is part of “an effort to crack down on tax evasion” and reduce ” India’s dependence on imports ”. Citing people familiar with the subject, the post details:

As part of the proposal made to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government is considering requiring people with unrecorded holdings of the metal to report it to the tax authorities and pay taxes.

The proposal is at an early stage and authorities are currently seeking comments from relevant officials, the outlet added.

The Indian government discussed a similar program last year to uncover lakhs of black silver crores in the form of undeclared gold. However, the tax office denied any plans for amnesty at the time. In addition, the highest court in the land has ruled that Indians cannot claim an absolute amnesty, as such programs could penalize honest taxpayers.

The media reported in October of last year that the government was planning to require people to pay taxes on the full value of gold acquired without a receipt, and that the tax rate would be around 30%. “The idea of ​​the program is good but its effective implementation is difficult,” an analyst told the IANS publication at the time. “It would be difficult to get people to report if they’ve lost almost a third of the value.” Additionally, many people have accumulated gold over time, including through inheritance without a receipt or record of purchase.

Some people also worry that after reporting, tax officials may harass them further. This happened after the last two tax filing systems (IDS), when hundreds of thousands of SMS messages were sent by tax officials seeking more information, such as sources of income, to depositors. in cash at the time of demonetization.

In addition, Prime Minister Modi unveiled three programs in 2015 with the aim of mining around 25,000 tonnes of gold held by Indian households and institutions. However, the programs did not generate interest, Bloomberg said, adding that people did not want to part with their gold and some feared being penalized by tax authorities.

Gold hit record highs last week as investors seek safe haven assets amid mounting concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, the weak US dollar and low interest rates. A global “liquidity pump” will further keep the price of gold and bitcoin on the rise, says billionaire investor Michael Novogratz. Goldman Sachs also warned that the dollar could lose its status as a global reserve currency, raising its 12-month gold forecast to $ 2,300 an ounce.

Do you think the Indians will declare their gold undocumented? Let us know in the comments section below.

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