Income Tax department has sent a fresh set of queries to megastar Amitabh Bachchan after his recent denial of having any connection with the offshore companies mentioned in the ‘Panama Papers’.
Sources said the department has sent a new set of questions to Bachchan seeking further details of his financial transactions as mentioned in the reports by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and relying on some “old information about the assessee” lying with the department.
They said, the actor, in his recent reply to the IT department, had categorically “denied” having any connection with or stake in the four alleged offshore firms as claimed in the leaked documents of the Panamanian firm Mossack Fonseca.
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The actor has been asked to reply to the new questionnaire within a week’s time, they said.
Earlier, Bachchan had made a public statement saying his name had probably been misused.
“I do not know any of the companies referred to by Indian Express–Sea Bulk Shipping Company Ltd, Lady Shipping Ltd, Treasure Shipping Ltd, and Tramp Shipping Ltd. I have never been a director of any of the above stated companies. It is possible that my name has been misused.
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“I have paid all my taxes including on money spent by me overseas. Money that I have remitted overseas have been in compliance with law, including remittances through Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS), after paying Indian taxes. In any event the news report in Indian Express does not even suggest any illegality on my part,” he had said in a statement.
A Multi Agency Group (MAG) of various investigative agencies has been formed by the government to go into the disclosures made in the list which includes about 500 Indian entities.
The ‘Panama Papers’ leaks contain an unprecedented amount of information, including more than 11 million documents covering 2,10,000 companies in 21 offshore jurisdictions. Each transaction spans different jurisdictions and may involve multiple entities and individuals.
The ICIJ, while releasing the names early this month, had added a disclaimer that there are also “legitimate uses for offshore companies”.