New Delhi: The income tax department on Tuesday raided 30 premises of eight art gallery owners and art fund organizers in Delhi and Mumbai to unearth black money involved in transactions related to art pieces.
A senior income tax official, whose identity was not disclosed, told PTI that the raids were conducted “on the basis of specific intelligence information” and involved alleged tax evasion by art investors.
The official said 11 premises of four owners have been searched in the Capital, while around 20 premises of another four people were searched in Mumbai. “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,” said the official. He declined to give the names of art galleries and fund organizers that were raided.
Among those who were raided was Ashish Anand of the Delhi Art Gallery who confirmed in a brief phone conversation that “the raid is on, I cannot speak to you right now”.
The art market in India has been booming with a slew of auction houses and so-called art funds talking up the financial returns on investment in art.
Ripu Daman Singh of Hindustan Times contributed to this story.