Goa emerging as a haven of tax evasion
The investigation wing of the income-tax department in Goa probing money laundering and black money has uncovered more than Rs 1,000 crore worth of tax evasion in recent months.
The tax evasion cases came to light between April and October 2017 following the post-demonetisation crackdown on undisclosed income, a senior official from the investigation wing said on Thursday.
He said the most of the tax evasion cases came from owners of restaurants, salons and diagnostic labs, as they accept payments in cash and find it easy to evade taxes.
Doctors have also been found to be keeping undeclared wealth along with pharmaceutical and mining companies who were under-invoicing sales, he said.
“Mining companies evaded taxes during the boom period of 2006 to 2012, but a sizable chunk of evasion is from other sectors,” according to the I-T wing.
Search revealed that of the Rs 1,000 crore of undeclared money about 70 per cent of the cases were reported in Goa and the rest in Hubli-Belagavi regions that fall within the jurisdiction of the state I-T circle.
it has been found that several among the tax evaders are non-Goan businessmen.
Along with the crackdown on undeclared income the investigation wing is also looking into property transactions of shell companies in Goa. Over 200 companies have been identified for scrutiny. These companies sold property (over Rs 1 crore) after they were struck off the register of companies, and now notices have been sent to the directors.
Shell companies that have purchased properties are prime conduits for money laundering.
A total of 1,760 companies have been deregistered by the state registrar of companies.
Recently the investigation wing busted a betting racket operating from a residence in Gurgaon. The accused were part of the casinos and betting racket running in several cities including Goa. The official said that focus in the remaining months of 2017-18 will be to weed out undeclared income so as to prevent conversion of black money into white.
The racket was busted on the heels of the raids on jewellers, automobile dealers, mine owners and
small businessmen from November 2016 onwards. The raids had resulted in unearthing of black money hoarded by a jeweller, a salon owner in Panaji and a doctor couple running a clinic in Margao.
Seizures and summons are going to be the order of the day as we have clear instructions from the government to “nab tax evaders and people with black money,” said the official.