Taxmen searched the offices and residences of the promoters of two leading real estate developers, and their associates here on Thursday, for tax compliance.

Officials from the investigation wing of the Income Tax Department visited the offices of Sobha Developers and Prestige Developers and the offices of their chartered accountants and legal advisers, an official said, adding the residences of the promoters and a few senior executives were also searched.

Sources said that the search, which went on for more than 12 hours, commenced around 8 a.m., and was conducted in about 30 offices and residential premises to ascertain tax compliance by the two real estate firms.

An official involved in the operation termed the search as “routine check” to survey the documents. Among the documents checked were the records of projects and accounts while some documents have been taken for verification. Meanwhile, a statement from Sobha Developers on Thursday evening said: “It is a routine check. As responsible citizens we have been fully cooperative and have furnished all the requested details,” it said. However, officials in Prestige Developers refused to comment.

Service tax

In an unconnected development, officials of Anti-Evasion wing of the Service Tax Commissionerate, Bangalore, on Thursday arrested K. Manjunath, Managing Director of MAA Security Services at Ramamurthy Nagar, for defaulting in payment of service tax to the tune of Rs. 2.51 crore. The MAA Security Services allegedly charged and collected service tax (as per Finance Act 1994) for providing security services, but did not credit it to the government account. The provisions of Finance Act provides for arrest of a person who defaults on Service Tax liability of more than Rs. 50 lakh collected and not paid beyond six months. Mr. Manjunath was produced before the Court of Economic Offence here.

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