GUWAHATI, Jan 25 - Tax evasion and investments in bogus companies remain major problems in Assam and other states of the North East and within this financial year alone, the Income Tax Department has detected evasion amounting to more than Rs 300 crore. Meanwhile, for the first time, the Income Tax Department has filed criminal cases against 12 persons for investing in bogus companies for monetary benefits.
Official sources told The Assam Tribune that a racket of formation of bogus companies have been going on for quite some time to take advantage of the concessions given under the Income Tax laws and the modus operandi of such persons is that they normally invest in such companies by making payments in cheque and withdraw the amounts in cash. By doing so, they show that they had invested in the companies to get tax benefits. Moreover, there have been instances where such companies were listed in the stock exchanges and stock prices were manipulated by fraudulent means.
Sources revealed that for the last couple of years, the Income Tax Department has been investigating such fraudulent means under the operation �clean money� scheme to evade tax and after being caught, about 90 per cent of the people who were caught in such acts paid the tax amounts. However, a few refused to do so and cases have been registered against them. For the first time, even criminal cases have been filed against 12 such persons. Though sources refused to divulge the names of the persons against whom criminal cases have been filed, one of them is a retired Government officer.
Meanwhile, sources said that tax evasion remains a major problem and within this financial year alone, evasion amounting to around Rs 300 crore has been detected in the North East and the major chunk of the amount was in Assam. The total figure this year is likely to go up as the financial year is yet to end. Last year also, almost same amount of tax evasions were detected in the region.
Sources further revealed that following demonetization of the old currency notes, a large number of people in the region invested in properties, while, substantial amounts were also deposited in bogus companies. The Income Tax Department is conducting a thorough probe into all such dealings and the possibility of persons involved in such fraudulent transactions to protect their black money cannot be ruled out. Moreover, immediately after the Prime Minister announced the demonetization of the old currency notes, there was heavy rush of buying of gold ornaments and this aspect is also under the scanner of the Income Tax Department. The zero balance Jan Dhan accounts were also checked and there were a few cases where the deposits after demonetization could not be explained and the legal process is on. Some cases of �benami transactions� were also detected during the post demonetization process and the legal process against it is on.