In its war against black money, the Indian government plans to tax gold at 30 percent The plan will see a surcharge and penalty imposed on undeclared gold, over and above the tax.
A leading official in the Indian Ministry of Finance told Sputnik that a large component of unaccounted wealth is in the form of gold. “A gold declaration scheme is under the works.”
“Unaccounted gold is likely to be taxed at a rate of 30 percent under the scheme. Additional surcharge and penalty may also be imposed taking the overall payables on unaccounted gold to about 45 percent to 50 percent of the total valuation,” the official added while explaining about the Gold Disclosure Scheme.
Under the scheme, any unexplained possession of gold without a requisite sales receipt will be subject to scrutiny.
The government will also appoint certified professionals to value the gold.
The scheme is likely to have some exemptions for married women.
“Possession of gold up to a particular threshold will be allowed for married women. A threshold limit will be announced along with the scheme,” the official said.
Immediately after taking over the reins of the country, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a disclosure scheme in 2015 for unaccounted cash in foreign accounts. However, no major disclosures came and only 644 declarations were made involving $346 million.
In 2016, the Indian government launched yet another scheme for disclosure of income and assets, yielding about $93 billion worth of disclosures of unaccounted assets.
Immediately after the scheme closed, the Indian government announced demonetisation – a currency swap which was targeted at cash hoarding, curbing the menace of terror funding, and counterfeit currency notes. The Indian government spends over $32 billion on gold purchase from abroad which is around 7% of the total import bill of the country.