India cracks down on illegal funds

MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 13:57 12/08/2014

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New Zealand financial authorities have given Indian investigators a large amount of tax data about Indians stashing black money in New Zealand, the Press Trust of India (PTI) reports.

India is cracking down on what is claimed to be $590 billion in illegal funds or black money held in tax havens outside India.

As part of the effort, New Zealand has shared 10,372 pieces of data with India's Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), PTI says.

That's 43 per cent of all the data CBDT has received and is the largest single data block among material from Spain, UK, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Portugal, Japan and Slovenia.

Australia was among other countries that provided a paltry amount of data.

New Zealand is not a tax haven but until recently it allowed for the easy internet creation of shell companies - often used internationally to launder money or hide black money.

New Zealand's Inland Revenue Department appears to be providing the information to India automatically under a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement and the Tax Information Exchange Treaties.

India has set up a special investigation team to track the information and find the owners of the money.

PTI, quoting unnamed sources, said the data, which was received over the last fiscal year, had been sent to the various ranges of the income tax department and, in some cases, to the investigation units of the department for full verification under tax laws.

"Some pieces of data also have the foreign bank account details of the holder," it said.

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