NEW DELHI: The Income Tax department is scrutinising a reply sent to it by HSBCbank after the taxman recently issued notices against the Swiss and Dubai arms of the global banking giant for allegedly abetting tax evasion by certain Indians.
The department had issued notices to the bank under relevant IT laws for alleged “abetment” of tax evasion by at least four unidentified Indians and their families and subsequent initiation of prosecution in a court of law against it as part of its probe against overseas stash holders.
“A notice was given to them. It was a notice for abetment of offence (of tax evasion). They (HSBC bank) have given some reply and that is being examined. It was a show-cause notice and they have raised certain issues and that is being examined,” CBDT Chairman Atulesh Jindal told PTI.
Jindal said as the investigations in this regard are in progress, he would not want to comment further on the action taken by the taxman as part of its action against black money holders.
The bank, without disclosing the names of the Indians who indulged in the alleged tax evasion through its Swiss or Dubai units, had recently announced in its annual results that tax authorities had first issued summons to it in February 2015 and subsequent fresh notices were issued in August and then in November last year.
“In August 2015 and November 2015, HSBC entities received notices issued by two offices of the Indian tax authority, alleging that the Indian tax authority had sufficient evidence to initiate prosecution against HSBC Swiss Private Bank and its Dubai entity for abetting tax evasion of four different Indian individuals and/or families and requesting that the HSBC entities show why such prosecution should not be initiated,” the bank had said.
It had further said that the bank is “cooperating with relevant authorities in a manner consistent with relevant laws” with respect to each of the ongoing matters.
The income tax department has also filed over 140 prosecution complaints in courts against Indians who allegedly held bank accounts in foreign branches of HSBC bank, especially in Geneva.