New Delhi: Income Tax department today conducted raids at over 30 premises of eight art gallery owners and art fund organisers in Delhi and Mumbai to unearth black money involved in transactions related to art pieces.
“On the basis of specific intelligence information, the department has conducted search operations at about 30 premises of eight art gallery owners and art fund organisers in Delhi and Mumbai,” a senior income tax official told PTI.
He said the department had received information that substantial “black money” was being invested by certain persons in expensive art pieces like paintings of eminent artists, resulting in huge tax evasion to the state exchequer.
In Delhi, he said,11 premises of four owners have been searched, while around 20 premises of other four persons were searched in Mumbai.
Although a number of fund organisers were attracting huge investments in art pieces, claiming to offer high returns, but these were not shown in tax returns.
The pattern was similar to black money investment in real estate, the official said. “We have noticed some people are now buying art pieces at very high prices, but were showing lower value in account books to save tax and to convert black money into white.”
Declining to give names of art galleries and fund organisers that were raided, the official said the details about tax evasion would be declared once the investigations were complete.