Mumbai: Actor and philanthropist Sonu Sood evaded taxes to the tune of Rs 20 crore, the Income Tax department said in a statement on Saturday, after three days of search operations.
According to the department, Sonu Sood’s non-profit organization also raised Rs 2.1 crore in foreign donations through a crowd-funding platform. This collection was in violation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act.
“During the course of search at the premises of the actor and his associates, incriminating evidences pertaining to tax evasion have been found. The main modus operandi followed by the actor had been to route his unaccounted income in the form of bogus unsecured loans from many bogus entities,” the tax department said in the statement.
It added, “Investigations so far have revealed use of 20 such entries, the providers of which, on examination, have accepted on oath to have given bogus accommodation entries. They have accepted to have issued cheques in lieu of cash. There have been instances where professional receipts have been camouflaged as loans in the books of accounts for the purpose of evasion of tax. It has also been revealed that these bogus loans have been used for making investments and acquiring properties. The total amount of tax evaded unearthed so far, amounts to more than Rs 20 crore.”
The tax department had started searching properties in Lucknow and Mumbai on Wednesday, including the office of Sonu Sood, following allegations of tax evasion in a property deal.
On Thursday, they visited his residence in Mumbai. The operations continued on Friday as well, with the officials scrutinizing accounts books, income and expenditure and other financial transactions linked to him.
The searches came close on heels of Delhi government roping in Sonu Sood as its brand ambassador for its ambitious ‘Desh ke Mentors’ programme that aims at guiding students from poor backgrounds in making career choices.
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