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Benami Transactions Informants Reward Scheme 2018

Hitesh 
on 05 June 2018

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The central board of direct taxes (CBDT) has introduced the reward scheme for informants giving information of benami property actionable under Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988, as amended by Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016.

Provisions of benami property law in India

As per the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988, as amended by Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 (hereinafter referred to as "the Act" for brevity), any property acquired by a person in the name of a benamidar (other than his close family members or in fiduciary capacity), is liable to be attached and subsequently confiscated and all persons involved in such benami transactions are liable to be prosecuted which carries rigorous imprisonment for term up to seven years. Amended provisions of the Act have come into force with effect from 1st November 2016.

The procedure under benami Transactions Informants Reward Scheme. 2018.

  1. A person who wants to give specific information in expectation of reward may contact the Joint Commissioner of Income TaxiAdditional Commissioner of Income Tax (Benami Prohibition) [hereinafter referred to as 'JCIT / Addl. CIT (BP)'] having jurisdiction over the place where the benami property is situated.
  2. If the JCIT / Addl. CIT (BP) feels that the person has given specific information of benami property, he will give one set of prescribed form as per Annexure-A to such person who shall fill, sign and submit it to the JCIT / Addl. CIT (BP).
  3. If there are more than one benami properties located at different places, the person may give information to any of the JCIT / Addl. CIT (BP) having jurisdiction over any of these properties.
  4. Where the person gives information about benami properties to any other Income Tax authority, such other authority shall forward such information and guide him to the jurisdictional JCIT / Addl. CIT (BP). Where there are more than one BP units at a place, such person may be directed to approach the jurisdictional DGIT (Investigation).
  5. If the information is furnished by a group of persons, the prescribed form, statements, etc. shall be filled and signed by all such persons, jointly and Informant code will be allotted to each of them separately. The reward payable in such cases, if any, shall be disbursed in equal proportion unless specified otherwise by such persons at the time of furnishing information in the prescribed format (Annexure -A).
  6. Where a foreign person wants to give information of benami property actionable under the Act, he may contact the Member (Investigation), CBDT, North Block, New Delhi-ll 000 I either in person or by post or by a communication at email id member.inv@incometax.gov.in with a copy to citinv-cbdt®nic.in for further action. He may take the assistance of Income Tax Overseas Units (ITOU) working in Indian missions in some foreign countries in this regard.
  7. A person may give information about more than one benami properties either on one or multiple occasions, but the prescribed form in Annexure-A shall be filled and signed separately on each occasion. One form may be used for multiple properties only if such properties pertain to either the same benamidar or same beneficial owner. However, he will be given only one Informant Code and his reward will be computed on the basis of entitlement individually for each benami property. Also, if a person desires to get a reward for information under both this Scheme and Income Tax Informants Reward Scheme, 2018, on the basis of substantially same facts, he shall have to furnish the same separately in accordance with the two Schemes. In other words, even if the information furnished under this Scheme is collaterally used by the Income Tax Department tor any purpose including that under Income Tax Act, 1961, the informant's entitlement shall be restricted to reward under this Scheme only.
  8. The informant shall be liable to render assistance as may be required by the JCIT / Addl. CIT (BP) or any other investigating officer to whom the JCIT / Addl. CIT (BP) concerned may assign the investigation into the information given by the informant.
  9. From the time of allotment of Informant Code, the person shall be identified with such Informant Code only and his actual identity shall be known to the JCIT/Addl. CIT (BP) only.
  10. In case of any difficulty, the person desirous of giving specific information on benami property may contact the PDIT (Inv)/ DIT (Inv) of the area. The decision of PDIT (Inv)/ DIT (Inv) will be final in the matter of allotment ofInformant Code under this scheme.
  11. It should be noted that furnishing false information / evidence is an offense and a person giving false information / evidence statement will be liable to be prosecuted for such offense.

Conditions to be fulfilled for granting reward

i. The interim reward can be granted on the fulfillment of the following conditions:

(a) the informant has given specific information of benami property in the prescribed format in Annexure-A and obtained informant code under the scheme;

(b) provided assistance required, if any, by the Addl.lJCIT (BP) or any other investigating officer to whom the JCIT / Addl. CIT (BP) concerned may assign the investigation into the information given by the informant; and

(c) pursuant to such information, the benami property has actually been provisionally attached under Section 24(4) of the Act.

ii. Final reward can be granted on fulfillment of the following conditions:

(a) the informant has given specific information of benami property in the prescribed format in Annexure-A and obtained informant code under the scheme;

(b) provided assistance required, if any, by the Addl.lJCIT (BP) or any other investigating officer to whom the JCIT/Addl. CIT (BP) concerned may assign the investigation into the information given by the informant;

(c) the benami property has been confiscated under Section 27 of the Act; and

(d) Such confiscation has become final in judicial proceedings after confiscation order is passed. The confiscation shall be deemed to be final if two years have passed from the date of confiscation and there is no litigation pending against such confiscation.

Amount of reward

i. Interim reward up to 1% (one percent) of the fair market value, as defined in the Act, of movable property, and circle rate, as defined in this Scheme, of immovable property, provisionally attached under section 24(4} of the Act may be granted by the competent authority on fulfillment of eligibility conditions under the scheme subject to the maximum ceiling of an amount of interim reward of Rs. Ten lakh in respect of information of a single benami property.

ii. A final reward up to 5% (five percent) of fair market value, as defined in the Act, of movable property, and circle rate, as defined in this Scheme, of immovable property, confiscated under the Act may be granted by the competent authority on the fulfillment of eligibility conditions under the scheme. While granting the final reward, the amount of interim reward paid, if any, shall be reduced from the total final reward granted. However, the maximum amount of total reward (interim and final) in respect of a single benami property shall be limited to Rs. One crore.

iii. If there are more than one benami properties informed in a single Annexure - A form, the reward shall be computed on the basis of entitlement applying the above percentage rates and maximum limits individually for each benami property.

iv. If the informant has claimed reward under this Scheme as well as Income Tax Informants Reward Scheme, 2018, based upon substantially same facts (as was given for claiming reward under this scheme) and if the same is separately found eligible for grant of reward in accordance with this Scheme as well as the Income Tax Informants Reward Scheme, 2018, the total amount of reward under both the schemes taken together shall not exceed the maximum permissible amount under the Income Tax Informants Reward Scheme, 2018, or this Scheme, whichever is higher. In other words, if an informant is found eligible for reward under both the Schemes tor information relating to the Act and the Income Tax Act, 1961, the total maximum reward under the two Schemes shall be restricted to Rs. 1 (one) crore as is the limit in this Scheme and if an informant is found eligible for reward under both the Schemes for information relating to the Act and the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) Act, 2015, the total maximum reward under the two Schemes shall be restricted to Rs. 5 (five) crore as is the limit in Income Tax Informants Reward Scheme, 2018.

Timelines for granting of interim & final reward

Every endeavor shall be made to grant:

(i) interim reward within 4 months of actual provisional attachment of the benami property under section 24(4) of the Act; and

(ii) final reward within 6 months of the order of confiscation of the benami property becoming final. The confiscation shall be deemed to be final if two years from the date of confiscation have passed and there is no litigation pending against such confiscation.


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