Actor Dileep was questioned by the Central Excise here on Tuesday on charges of service tax evasion by him and other members of the film fraternity. The actor arrived at the offices of the department here by 11 a.m. and the questioning continued late into the evening.
Cinematographer P. Sukumar was also questioned on Saturday. The department had issued notices to other film professionals seeking explanation for their alleged failure to pay service tax.
“The actor was not at home when we conducted the raid. We called Dileep in to explain the source of unaccounted money we found in his house during the raid. He cooperated with our investigations,” a senior official of the department said. Officials said the actor had agreed to pay the tax evaded by him once the department completed its calculations and quantified the sum of evasion.
The government made corporate transfers such as film, music, and video rights taxable under new laws in 2010. Actors’ remuneration was also made taxable from July 2012. “There is a lack of awareness regarding the new laws and some of these issues have cropped up because of that. We have issued notices to other film professionals who have evaded service tax, giving them an opportunity to pay up. If they do not respond, we will take action,” an official said.
The Preventive Wing of the department had raided the residence and offices of Dileep, Sukumar, and other film personalities on Saturday on charge of service tax evasion. Officials seized Rs.13 lakh and some documents from Dileep’s house.
Customs officers had earlier said that the actor had evaded service tax by accepting a portion of his remuneration by cash or cheque, and the rest through distribution rights of movies.