I-T raids on Karnataka minister; over 10 crores recovered

Multiple properties linked to DK Shivakumar, Karnataka Energy Minister, were raided by the Income Tax Department on Wednesday. The raids on the Congress minister and his brother D.K. Suresh come after they were made responsible to host around 40 MLAs from Gujarat in the posh ‘Eagleton resort’ outside Bengaluru, ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections in their state in order to cope with defections. “Yes, the I-T department conducted raids on my brother’s house, offices and my home as well,” said Suresh.

Jewelry, investment documents, and about Rs 10 crore in cash, much of it from his Delhi homes, were allegedly recovered. Note-counting machines have been used at a location in Safdarjung Enclave, Delhi, and in Hasan and Mysuru in Karnataka to count the cash.

The I-T department said that the raids were part of an investigation held over a considerable period of time. “The timing of the search was decided well in advance. The events involving certain MLAs of another state being brought to Karnataka were unforeseen and unpredictable events,” claimed the department in a statement on Wednesday.

The raids led the Congress leadership to accuse the Narendra-Modi led government of misusing state machinery to intimidate opposition parties by carrying out “an unprecedented witch-hunt”. MPs from the party disrupted proceedings in Parliament on Wednesday and raised the issue in the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha, forcing four adjournments of the former and staging a walkout in the Lok Sabha.

News Source: Hindustan Times, NDTV

Image Source: PTI

Legal trouble brewing for Benami Act violators

Tax department on March 3 announced that people, who undertake Benami transactions, would invite Rigorous Imprisonment (RI) of up to 7 years. It was also declared that such violators would also stand to be charged under the normal I-T Act.

The Income Tax department issued an advertisement for the same in the national dailies that warned people to not enter into benami transactions as the Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988, has been enforced from November 1, 2016.

The advertisement also stated that black money is a crime against humanity and the department urges every conscientious citizen to help the government in eradicating it.

Along with this, the department also spelled out some salient features of the new act, such as Benamidar (in whose name benami property is standing), beneficiary (who actually paid consideration) and persons who abet and induce benami transactions are prosecutable and may get RI up to 7 years besides being liable to pay fine up to 25 per cent of fair market value of benami property.

The department also announces that people, who furnish false information to authorities under the act, are prosecutable and can be imprisoned up to 5 years along with being liable to pay fine up to 10 per cent of fair market value of benami property.

It was also made clear that the benami property might be attached and confiscated by the government. These actions are in addition to actions under other laws such as Income Act, 1961.

News Source: Times Of India, Business Today

Image Source: The Financial Express

Rs 3.25 cr seized in Delhi’s Karol Bagh, Five arrested

New Delhi: Rs 3.5 crore in old notes was seized from a hotel in Karol Bagh, Delhi. This was a joint operation conducted by the Income Tax department and the Crime Branch on December 13.

According to the Indian Express, five people were arrested in the raid and the Income Tax department is conducting further inquiry into the issue. The five convicts have been identified as Ansari Abuzar, Fazal Khan, Ansari Affan, Ladu Ram and Mahavir Singh. Police state that Ram and Singh, are from Rajasthan, while the other three belong to Mumbai.

It is reported that the money belongs to Mumbai-based hawala operators. Joint Commissioner of Police, Ravindra Yadav, revealed in a statement that the raid was conducted at Hotel Taksh Inn at the Chennai Market in Karol Bagh, a popular market area.

During the interrogation, the convicts said that they were carriers working for hawala operators based in cities like Delhi and Mumbai. They also confessed that they are specialists in packaging banknotes, reported the Hindustan Times.

This was second such raid conducted by the crime branch in Delhi since Saturday, December 10. The previous raid was conducted at a law firm in South Delhi’s Greater Kailash in which the officials recovered Rs 13.5 crore, both in old and new banknotes.

 

Sources: The Hindustan Times, The Indian Express

Income Tax Department raids 8 locations in Chennai

The Income Tax officers in Chennai have unearthed a huge money laundering racket. They have confiscated 120 Crore in old currencies, new currencies and gold bars. The raid was conducted on the houses of jewellers and sand miners in eight different locations.

According to The Indian Express, the IT department also questioned industrialist Sekhar Reddy, Srinivas Reddy and one of the agents Prem. Sekhar Reddy is a very well known personality amongst businessmen. He was involved in sand quarrying across the state and is also a member of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam Trust. The officials received a tip-off regarding Prem exchanging old currency notes for gold bars. Following his trail, they busted this money exchange racket. The money seized includes 80 Crores in old currencies, Rs.10 Crore in newly introduced Rs.2000 notes and 100 kg gold bars worth Rs.30 Crore.

Since the demonetization drive began, the Income Tax Department has been conducting regular raids. The Department said that till the December 6 it had seized jewellery and cash amounting to Rs130 Crore. Taxpayers had disclosed nearly Rs.2000 Crore of wealth.

Sources: TOI, Indian Express

Image source: India Today

ED cracks down Hawala Operators

On Wednesday morning, the Enforcement Directorate searched the premises of Hawala operators, approximately in 40 cities across the country,which included Delhi, Kolkata and a few places in Odisha. They had been found exchanging foreign currencies illegally without maintaining any record of transactions.

In Kolkata,officials have seized an amount more than 10 lakh in cash from a doctor’s premises.The amount is in new currency notes of Rs 500, and Rs 2,000. Apart from this, foreign currency worth over Rs 4 lakh is seized at a different location of Kolkata as well.

The ED carried out the search after some information was reported. Apparently,these people were engaged in exchanging foreign money with unaccounted income.It was reported that they have not been keeping records of the beneficiaries. The operation continued till late evening,and alone in Kolkata six locations were searched.

However, specific are details still unavailable.

Before ED, the income tax department did similar operations to curb black money.In the last two weeks,the income tax department had successfully tracked more than Rs 150 crore,which had been transferred illegally through banking channels and depositing money in fake accounts.

Shortly after demonetisation ,the finance ministry had told all revenue intelligence agencies to raid bullion traders,jewellers,Hawala dealers,and bank officials indulged in unethical practices.

In fact, the ED particularly targeted Hawala dealers,as they have been found engaging in illicit activities,like accepting new currency in higher denominations, and delivering equivalent foreign currency abroad.

It has been a favourite non-banking channel often misused by black money hoarders.

Source: Times of India, The Hindu

Image Source :India.com

Nokia India slapped with fresh tax notice

The Income Tax Department has sent a fresh tax notice to Nokia India. The Finnish telecom firm however, wants the fresh demand to be included in the ongoing negotiations between India and Finland to resolve the Rs 2,000-crore tax dispute. In 2013, the department had slapped a tax notice of Rs 2,000 crore on Nokia’s Indian subsidiary, accusing violation of withholding tax norms since 2006.

“Fresh tax demands notice has been served to Nokia India for dispute relating to other assessment years, apart from the one being contested currently in ITAT,” a senior Finance Ministry official said. Nokia confirmed the news and said the dispute was ongoing it had nothing new to add.

The action of early resolution of pending tax disputes has been taken by the government to make the tax regime more predictable and investor friendly, as tax issues make the investment environment unstable.

Source- profit.ndtv.com