The income Tax department, without naming Bollywood actor Sonu Sood, said on Saturday that he has evaded over Rs 20 crore in taxes. The department in a statement said Sood has routed “unaccounted income in the form of bogus unsecured loans” through fake entities.
The I-T department on September 15 had searched 28 premises in Mumbai, Lucknow, Kanpur, Jaipur, Delhi and Gurgaon in connection with its case against Sood and a Lucknow-based real estate firm. The department said it has found that Sood camouflaged professional receipts as loans in the books of accounts to allegedly evade taxes. It also alleged that the 48-year-old actor has used the loans to acquire properties.
According to the tax authority, Sood’s charity foundation – founded last July – raised Rs 18.94 crore in donations from April 2021 till date and spent only Rs 1.7 crore in relief work. The remaining Rs 17 crore is lying with the foundation untilised, it alleged.
The department also alleged that Sood’s charity foundation has raised Rs 2.1 crore from outside India in violation of Foreign contribution regulation Act norms.
“The simultaneous search operations carried out at various premises of an infrastructure group in Lucknow in which the said actor has entered into a joint venture real estate project and invested substantial funds, have resulted in unearthing of incriminating evidences pertaining to tax evasion and irregularities in the books of account,” said the statement. The department has allegedly found instances of circular trades by the infrastructure group to the tune of Rs 175 crore.
Following the searches, the department has seized cash worth Rs 1.8 crore and placed nine lockers under prohibitory order. Queries sent by The Indian Express to the Sood Charity Foundation did not elicit any response.