Keep Away From Benami Transactions, Warns Income Tax Department

Keep Away From Benami Transactions, Warns Income Tax Department

The taxman is the nodal department to enforce the Benami Act in the country

New Delhi: The Income Tax Department on Wednesday warned people to “keep away” from benami transactions, cautioning that violations under the newly enacted law invites criminal prosecution and rigorous imprisonment up to seven years. The department put out its alert in a public advertisement published in leading national dailies.

Titled “Keep Away from Benami Transactions”, it described black money as a “crime against humanity” and urged “conscientious citizens to help the government in eradicating it”.

“Benamidar (in whose name benami proper is standing), beneficiary (who actually paid consideration) and persons who abet and induce benami transactions are prosecutable and may face rigorous imprisonment up to 7 years besides being liable to pay fine up to 25 per cent of fair market value of benami property,” the I-T advertisement said.

The tax department attached benami assets worth Rs. 1,833 crore across the country, issued 517 notices and made 541 attachments, from November 1, 2016 to October 2017.

The department started initiating action under the new Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 from November 1, 2016.

The advertisement added that “persons who furnish false information to authorities under Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 2016, are prosecutable and may be imprisoned up to 5 years besides being liable to pay fine up to 10 per cent of fair market value of benami property”.

It added that benami property “may be attached and confiscated by the government” and that this action will be in in addition to prosecution under the Income Tax Act of 1961 for tax evasion charges.

The Income Tax Department is the nodal department to enforce the Benami Act in the country.

[“Source-ndtv”]

Education department warns new university is ‘fraudulent’

Shai Reshef: UoPeople is accredited in the US. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/SEAN GALLUP

Shai Reshef: UoPeople is accredited in the US. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/SEAN GALLUP

South Africans love a freebie as much as anyone, but when a “tuition-free” university hit our shores recently, it rubbed higher education authorities up the wrong way.

On the eve of the launch of the University of the People (UoPeople) in SA, the department of higher education & training issued a media alert warning that the “fraudulent university” was not registered with the department as required by law, and that it could find no evidence that it was accredited with the US education department. UoPeople did not have the authority to enrol students or grant degrees in SA, it said.

Department spokesman Madikwe Mabotha says there is no evidence that the online American university is accredited in SA, and whether or not it is registered with the US education department has no bearing on its accreditation status in SA.

But the local department’s warnings fell on deaf ears, as the launch of UoPeople was covered by television and newspapers across the country, highlighting the desperate demand for fee-free higher education.

UoPeople president Shai Reshef says the university is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, an accreditation body that is approved by the US government. “University of the People has enrolled over 10,000 students from more than 200 countries. We are fully accredited in the US, and US higher education is generally well respected and recognised worldwide.”

In this country, the SA Qualifications Authority (SAQA) registers qualifications against its National Qualifications Framework, while the Council on Higher Education (CHE) accredits learning programmes and submits qualifications to the qualifications authority for registration under the framework.

SAQA advocacy, communications & support director Wellington Radu says genuine qualifications can be issued by an education provider only if it is registered with one of three quality councils in SA: Umalusi, the Quality Council for Trades & Occupations, and the CHE.

Mergence Investment Managers equity analyst Nolwandle Mthombeni, who works with private education groups, says: “In the context of [SA], it isn’t a recognised institution.”

Mabotha says fraudulent tertiary institutions are prevalent world wide. The problem is especially pronounced in the case of online distance learning companies.

“In this country, bogus operators hide behind so-called ‘international’ accreditation,” he says.

Though the department has shut down many bogus colleges, some operators change their modus operandi once they are caught. Some, like the Academy for Sexology in Pretoria, take their courses online; others change their names.

UoPeople’s Reshef insists the institution is accredited in the US. “At this point we have not felt the need to pursue accreditation in any other country,” he adds.

More than 400 local students have enrolled with UoPeople, even though some say it has not been transparent about its fee structure, as it is not completely cost free.

The university claims to have free programmes, but its steep processing fees mean it isn’t a cheaper education platform. UoPeople charges a nonrefundable US$60 “processing fee”. It also charges $100 for each exam and $200 for an MBA exam.

The average undergraduate student in SA has four exams per semester. Using this average, UoPeople’s cost per semester is actually more than R5,000, and this doubles for MBA students.

Reshef says these “modest fees” ensure that the university remains sustainable.

A registered student told the Financial Mail he is happy to have found an internationally recognised institution to further his studies. Registering was simple, he says, but little contact support is offered and students have to grapple with material on their own.

Another student says the model allows her to work full-time and study in between.

[“Source-businesslive”]

Department for Education discloses gender pay gap

women

The pay gap between men and women working at the Department for Education (DfE) is 5.9%, new figures reveal.

The figure was calculated by how much an individual is paid per hour, so takes account of part-time workers.

The DfE is the first government department to publish the difference between the pay of men and women.

The national gap is 18.1%, but the DfE uses a different methodology so cannot be compared directly to the Office for National Statistics figure.

Education Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities Justine Greening said her department was setting an example on promoting gender equality.

The DfE reported a mean pay gap – the difference between average salaries for men and women – of 5.3% and a median pay gap of 5.9%.

Pay gap data will be published by all government departments and large private companies by April 2018.

The ONS national gender pay gap for full and part-time workers is the lowest since records began in 1997.

women

Ms Greening said: “I’m proud that the DfE has taken an important step in reporting its gender pay gap, setting an example to other employers as we build a stronger economy where success is defined by talent, not gender or circumstance.

“The UK’s gender pay gap is at a record low, but we are committed to closing it.

“As one of the UK’s largest employers, the public sector has a vital role to play in leading the way to tackle the gender pay gap which is why the DfE’s step to publish our gender pay gap matters.”

The department says it has introduced a range of initiatives to support women in the workplace, such as supporting women returning to work, monitoring pay and helping women progress in their careers.

 
[“source-bbc”]

 

David&Goliath Expands Creative Department With 4 Senior Hires

Los Angeles-based independent agency David&Goliath is expanding its creative department with four senior hires, welcoming a group of creative directors.

Fernando Reis and Marcelo Padoca join David&Goliath as creative directors on the agency’s Kia account. The duo, who have been creative partners for a decade, arrive at the agency from cross-cultural agency The Community, where they served as associate creative directors, working with brands including Converse, Corona, Modelo and the city of Buenos Aires. Both previously worked at several agencies in their native Brazil.

“We’re thrilled to be joining David&Goliath,” Padoca said in a statement. “It’s an agency with a lot of ambition, great clients and a ‘no assholes’ policy. What else could you ask for?”

Wilson Mateos also joins the agency as a creative director on the Kia account after holding the same title at 180LA, where he worked on the University of Phoenix account. Mateos had already spent more than 25 years in Brazil’s ad industry at shops like Lew’Lara TBWA, F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, AlmapBBDO and Neogama/BBH before heading to 180LA in late 2015.

“David Angelo is a man with strong beliefs, a vision and many dreams,” Mateos said. “I admire that and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”

New creative director/art director Raul Garcia, who recently held creative roles at Canadian agencies including Leo Burnett Toronto, Grey Canada and TAXI, will work across clients including California Lottery, pro bono account Shine On Sierra Leone and the agency’s own Today, I’m Brave nonprofit.

“My entire career I’ve been trying to help clients and agencies understand the importance of being brave and how it has a positive effect on the work produced and the results that follow,” Garcia said. “When D&G explained that they were an agency built on this ideology, I was like, ‘Where do I sign?’”

Last November, the agency’s chief creative officer/managing partner Colin Jeffery, chief digital officer Mike Geiger and chief strategy officer Seema Miller left to launch a new organization called Wolfgang. At that time, David&Goliath promoted Bobby Pearce to chief creative officer and hired Wells Davis to fill the strategy role.

[Source:-adweek]