How To Report A Benami Property?
Further cracking the whip on unaccounted transactions, the government has decided to reward those who inform the Centre about benami properties. One would get as much as Rs 1 crore for being a responsible citizen. If money is no concern, you only still be serving a noble cause by helping the government nab offenders. However, there is a prescribed format in which you have to do the job.
Where to file a complaint?
The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016, says that complaints against such transactions need to be filed to the Initiating Officer (IO), an assistant commissioner or a deputy commissioner, as defined by the Income Tax Act, 1961.
As an informer, you should be able to provide documented proof or evidence in any format against the benamidar. The informer must take note that they have to submit proof of the wrongdoing. Here are some of the details that you will have to provide:
*Verifiable particulars of the benami property;
*Name and address of the person in whose name the property has been acquired
*Supporting evidence to show the property is actually a benami property.
After checking the veracity of the evidence you submit, authorities will issue a notice to the person concerned, demanding a justification.
The initiating officer has the right to attach the benamidar’s property for a period of 90 days after issuing the notice and can decide to attach it permanently, if the claim of the informant is found to be true.
After that, the matter is moved to the adjudicating authority, which decides the future course of action on the benami property.
Who can be an informer?
Apart from native residents, foreigners can also be informers. In case you want to report the matter in person, approach the member (investigation) of the Central Board of Direct Taxes, North Block, New Delhi-110001. You could also post the information on the same address. In case you want to mail the statement, send your mail to inv(at)incometax(dot)gov(dot)in with a copy to citinv-cbdt®nic(dot)in for further action.
In case you are living abroad, take assistance from the Income Tax Overseas Units (ITOU) working in Indian missions in your country.
The competent authority may grant interim and final rewards to the informer if their claims are found to be true. In the interim, you could be rewarded one per cent of the fair market value of the property in question. Do note here that the fair market value of the property would be decided based on the circle rate. The upper limit of the interim reward has been capped at Rs 10 lakh.
As the final reward, you could be awarded five per cent of the property value while the upper limit has been set at Rs 1 crore. If there is more than one property you would want to report about, your get separate reward for each property.