Income Tax Raid

NEW DELHI — The Income Tax Department has conducted raids on a prominent hotelier and a jeweller based in Jammu and Kashmir on charges of alleged tax evasion, the CBDT said on Thursday.

In the first case, searches were launched on Wednesday against the hotelier who owns a chain of hotels at popular tourist spots of the Union Territory like Srinagar, Gulmarg, Sonamarg and Pahalgam and he also has a hotel under-construction in Leh.

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“Various incriminating documents and materials evidencing unexplained investments in immovable properties, construction of hotels and residences aggregating to Rs 25 crore in the last six financial years have been seized during the search, though he has not paid any tax since assessment year 2014-15.”

“Almost all these investments are in cash and outside the known sources of income,” the CBDT said in a statement without identifying the entity.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes frames policy for the I-T Department.

“During the course of the search operation, receipt of unsecured loans to the tune of Rs 25 crore in the past two years from persons of no means has been found,” it said.

“All these loans are prima facie not genuine, as the same have been advanced by persons with doubtful creditworthiness,” it added.

The action also revealed, it said, that the assessee’s children are studying in the US on whom expenditure of about Rs 25 lakh per annum is being incurred.

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The expenditure on account of education in the US prima facie appears to be unexplained/undisclosed, it said.

“The assessee is also running a B.Ed college as a trust along with his mother. The trust in not registered and no return is being filed though it has substantial taxable income. The assessee has also admitted to having incurred an expenditure of Rs 40 lakh on the renovation of his residence,” it said.

A bank locker, found during the searches, has been put under restraint, it said.

Meanwhile, the second case pertains to a prominent jeweller in Srinagar.

“During the search, it was found that he had not maintained books of accounts of the jewellery business even though the turnover is of the range of Rs 2 crore-Rs 10 crore in the earlier years.”

“The search has revealed that an undeclared bank account was maintained by the assessee with deposits running into crores of rupees, which has not been offered to tax,” the CBDT said.

The assessee also sold immovable property of Rs 1.90 crore in Srinagar in financial year 2015-16, capital gains tax on which has not been paid, it said.

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Documents were found, during the raids, that revealed receipt of Rs 16 lakh in cash as ”pagri” by the assessee in FY 2019-20 at the time of leasing of one of the shops.

“This transaction is in violation of provisions of Section 269SS of the I-T Act. This fact of receiving cash of Rs 16 lakh has been admitted by the assessee as well as the lessee. The payment of Pagri of Rs 16 lakh is also out of undisclosed income of the lessee,” the CBDT claimed.

The search also revealed that sale of a flat in Delhi was made by the wife of the assessee in 2019-20 FY for Rs 33 lakh.

“During the search, it was seen that no capital gain has been paid on the above sale. Further, out of the sale consideration of Rs 33 lakh, Rs 13 lakh has been received in cash in violation of provisions of Section 269SS of the I-T Act,” it said.

The source of investment of buyer also seems prima-facie undisclosed, which is being investigated, the statement said.

The search also revealed that the daughter of the assessee was studying abroad and the expenditure on account of the same prima facie appears unexplained/undisclosed, it said.

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