Govt deputes 7 IRS officers for I-T units abroad

New Delhi: The government has deputed seven senior IRS officers to officiate as First Secretaries at the newly created Income Tax overseas units in countries like the US, the UK and Germany, as part of its efforts to curb the problem of blackmoney and illegal funds stashed abroad.

The Income Tax officials, having a tenure of three years, will function from the Indian Missions in Washington DC (the US), London (the UK), Berlin (Germany), Paris (France), The Hague (Netherlands), Abu Dhabi (the UAE) and Cyprus (Nicosia). The deputation of an Indian Revenue Service (IRS) to the eighth country – Japan – will also take place soon, official sources said. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee during his Budget speech had made a big allocation for setting up these I-T overseas offices.

While the initial budgetary allocation for these units was Rs 2.41 crore in the last fiscal, it has been raised to Rs 18.20 crore in the current year. "The officials deputed are adept at handling tax evasion cases and international tax treaties and will also help the department liaise with authorities of these countries in tax cases including various high-profile cases which the I-T is currently investigating," a senior I-T official said.

The officials at these units will also help investors from abroad understand Indian tax laws and procedures so that they can make informed decisions, the official said. The units would also obtain information on tax and financial data of investments made by individuals and institutions in these countries and facilitate any data on investment or routing of money in the country and vice-versa.