Special Unit created in IT department to probe undisclosed foreign assets

The Government has set up a special unit in the countrywide investigation wings of the Income Tax department for probing cases of undisclosed assets held by Indians abroad and possession of black money in foreign shores.

The Foreign Asset Investigation Units (FAIUs) have been created in all the 14 investigation directorates of the tax department located in various cities of the country, whose primary function is to undertake raids and seizures, and develop intelligence to check tax evasion done by various methods.

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A total of 69 existing posts in the tax department were diverted by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) in November last for the creation of this unit after approval from Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, a senior officer told PTI. The CBDT frames policy for the Income Tax department.

The FAIUs have been created to bring focus on cases of undisclosed assets held abroad by Indians and black money stashed abroad.

The taxman now has huge data coming in from various international and domestic sources to check possible illegal foreign assets holding of an individual and hence, a dedicated wing was required to analyse this information and sift through this mountain of data, the official told PTI.

Cases of Indian entities named in global tax document leaks like the Panama Papers will also be probed by FAIUs.

The FAIUs will be under the authority of the jurisdictional director general of income tax (investigation) rank officer and its work will be directly monitored by the CBDT.