Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint
Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint

Black money: Swiss govt discloses new name

Neo Corp had incidentally faced income tax searches on its various premises earlier in February for alleged tax evasion

Berne: In a fresh disclosure on suspected black money cases being probed by tax authorities in India, Switzerland on Tuesday said it has received request for information about Indore-based textiles firm Neo Corp International Ltd.

Neo Corp, which began as a small woven sack maker in 1985 and now claims to be a multinational technical textiles group, had incidentally faced income tax searches on its various premises earlier in February for alleged tax evasion.

As part of its bilateral treaty for administrative assistance and exchange of information with Switzerland, India has sought details about numerous individuals and companies from the Alpine nation as part of its crackdown against suspected black money stashed in Swiss banks.

Neo Corp is the latest in a series of Indian names that have been published in the official gazette of the Swiss government about whom the tax authorities in India have sought information from their counterparts of Switzerland.

About a dozen such names have been disclosed so far, while many other requests are pending with the Swiss authorities who conduct their own due diligence before starting the process of sharing the information.

The notification about the concerned entity’s right to appeal is generally the first step in the information exchange process. This is typically seen as the Swiss government in-principle agreeing to share the information.

As per the notification published today, Neo Corp will have 30 days’ time to appeal against “administrative assistance" by the Swiss Federal Tax Administration as per their local laws. The appeal needs to be filed before the Swiss Federal Administrative Court, while giving reasons and evidence for the same, the notification said, without disclosing further details about the case and the company, except for its date of incorporation — 15 February 1985.

There was no response to queries about the latest Swiss action despite repeated calls to its office in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.

However, Neo Corp had said in a regulatory filing to the BSE earlier in May that it was cooperating with the tax authorities. It had said at that time that a search was conducted on 27 February 2015 on the company, its group companies, directors and key officials.

“The company is in the process of collating and responding to all the queries raised by the Income Tax Authorities and the company is lending its fullest co-operation to the department in completing the enquiry. It is to put on record that no incriminate documents and/or undisclosed income was found as far as Neo Corp and its group companies are concerned," it said in the BSE filing on 22 May.

Neo Corp is listed on the BSE but its shares have been falling sharply for the past few days. Claiming to be present in over 28 countries, it commands a market value of Rs134 crore. It posted revenue of Rs744 crore and net profit of Rs30 crore in the latest fiscal.