The operation revealed that the group has made unaccounted property transactions of more than ₹100 crore in cash since FY 2013-14 onwards, CBDT said
There is substantial default of TDS on almost all purchases and sales of land/plots, it said
The Income Tax department detected multiple instances of alleged tax evasion after raiding a business group that runs "biggest private" multi-speciality hospital in Srinagar, according to CBDT officials.
The search and seizure operation on seven premises were conducted of which four of them were residential, the officials said. The operation revealed that the group has made unaccounted property transactions of more than ₹100 crore in cash since FY 2013-14 onwards, the ministry of finance said in a statement.
"The group is in the practice of buying large chunks of lands in piecemeal and aggregating them. Thereafter, it develops the land and carves out plots and sells them," it added. The evidence revealed that the group has received more than 50% of consideration i.e, over and above the registered value of the property, from buyers. This sale consideration received in cash has not been offered to tax, the statement read.
"The payments/investments made through banking channels by the buyers of plots are also under investigation as prima-facie verification has shown that the investments have not been made using tax paid income," the ministry said.
Thus, taxes will be leviable not only on the seller group but the buyers also, depending on the facts of the cases. There is substantial default of TDS on almost all purchases and sales of land/plots, it added.
The search has also revealed that there has been a "substantial evasion" of stamp duty the group was due to the state government/ Union Territory. This tax was on the cash paid as sale consideration. This information will be shared with the J & K Union Territory Authority for levy of stamp duty on the entire sale consideration as evident from the seized documents and notification of circle rates as per the prevailing market rates, the ministry said.
"During the search, it was also seen that the individuals have taken a number of plots/land as gifts from various unrelated individuals and they have not shown any income on this score u/s 56 of the I. T. Act, 1961 even though the same is chargeable to tax in the hands of the donee as income from other sources," the statement further read. "The cases of the donors are also under investigation from the perspective of evasion of income tax," it added.
Additionally, one of the taxpayers in the group has also engaged in trading of household consumables. The taxpayer had made cash purchases of household consumables worth Rs.2 crore in 6 months in FY 2019-20, in violation of tax provisions which mandate payment of more than Rs.10,000/- at a time through banking channels only, the ministry said.
It is said that various benami properties have also been found during the search which have been seized and are now under investigation.
"Suppression of receipts from the running of the Hospital is under investigation. The average turnover shown by the Hospital is around ₹10-12 crore since FY 2015-16; however, seized evidence shows actual receipts to be at least four times more. Evidence showing cash payments of Rs. 3 crore, made to various doctors in the current year, has been seized during the search," the ministry said.
Cash of ₹82.75 lakh and jewellery and bullion worth Rs. 35.7 lakh have been seized as the concerned persons from whose custody these were found were not able to explain the same. One bank locker has been sealed, it added.
The ministry said in the statement that further investigations are in progress.
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