A family in India declared it owed taxes on $29 billion of income during the government's tax amnesty program that ended in September, stunning public officials there.
The Indian government rejected the declaration from the family of Abdul Razzaque Mohammed Sayed, which also includes his wife, sister and son, CNN reported.
The $29 billion total was three times the combined $9.8 billion that nearly 72,000 other people declared under the entire program, with the net worth being more than India's richest man, Mukesh Ambani, whose wealth is listed at $22.7 billion, CNN noted.
In rejecting the declaration, the Indian government stated that they were suspicious about the total compiled by a family of "small means," and is investigating, CNN said. Under India's amnesty program, people who voluntarily declared illicit income were allowed to keep 55 percent of it.
"This obviously appears to be a case of money laundering and it's the right thing on the part of the tax authorities to launch an investigation," said Anil Verma, national coordinator for the Association for Democratic Reforms, a New Delhi-based independent governance watchdog, according to Bloomberg. "To me this isn't surprising at all, given the large part that cash plays in our economy from elections to real estate."
The Sayed family listed their address in an affluent Mumbai suburb, but older information with the tax authorities showed three of the four lived in Ajmer, in the state of Rajasthan, Bloomberg reported. India's finance ministry said the family's residence changed in September.
"(Prime Minister Narendra) Modi, who is attempting to fulfill his election pledge of unearthing black money, in September offered tax evaders an amnesty in exchange for a one-time levy of 45 percent on their income," Bloomberg wrote.
"That program led to a disclosure of 673.8 billion rupees of illegal income excluding the two cases rejected by the Finance Ministry. Modi last month invalidated 86 percent of the nation's currency in circulation in yet another effort to root out illegal income stored in cash," Bloomberg continued.
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