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Friday, August 5, 2011

BLACKMONEY ABROAD: Government to set up tax offices in US, France, 6 other nations!

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New Delhi, Deccan Herald / Aug 5 (PTI).

Under pressure to bring back unaccounted money stashed abroad, the Government today said it will set up tax overseas units in eight countries, including the US, France and Germany, this financial year.

"The proposal is being processed and (eight) Income Tax Overseas Units (ITOUs) are likely to be set up within the present financial year 2011-12," the Minister of State for Finance S S Palanimanickam told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.

Cyprus, Japan, UK, The Netherlands and United Arab Emirates are the other countries where the government wants to establish ITOUs. The government, Palanimanickam said, had earlier set up ITOUs at Mauritius and Singapore.

He said the government has framed a five-pronged strategy to fight the menace of tax evasion that include joining hands with international bodies like G-20 and United Nations, besides forming appropriate legislations, setting up domestic institutions, and manpower training.

Further, in reply to a question, he said investigations were carried out on some persons who had travelled to tax havens. "Instances were found where assesses had filed return of income of less than Rs one lakh," the minister said of such cases.

The government has also approved the cadre restructuring of the Directorate of Enforcement for increasing its effectiveness in implementing the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and the Foreign Exchange Management Act.

"The approval includes increase in staff strength from 745 to 2,064 and the number of offices from 22 to 39. This is likely to involve an expenditure of about Rs 60 crore annually. The restructuring process of the Directorate of Enforcement is likely to be completed in 2-3 years," Palanimanickam said.

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