Income tax refund scam busted in city

‘Chartered accountant filed revised returns with false figures on loss from house property’

January 26, 2018 01:08 am | Updated 01:08 am IST - Bengaluru

 The scam was uncovered during search operations by I-Tax officials at the office and residential premises of a chartered accountant in Bengaluru.

The scam was uncovered during search operations by I-Tax officials at the office and residential premises of a chartered accountant in Bengaluru.

Nearly a thousand income tax paying professionals working in top companies in Bengaluru have been found to have filed fraudulent income tax returns seeking refund.

The scam was uncovered during search operations — by officials of the investigation wing of the Income Tax Department, Karnataka and Goa — at the office and residential premises of a chartered accountant (CA) in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

The tax officials found that he had been facilitating the fraud.

The CA, according to a press release, would file revised returns of salary, with false figures on loss from house property, and claim refund. Nearly 1,000 such returns were filed, with loss claim aggregating to around ₹18 crore.

The employees work in over 50 companies in Bengaluru, including reputed ones such as IBM, Vodafone, SAP Labs, Biocon, Infosys, ICICI Bank, Cisco, and Thomson Reuters, the note said.

Some of the employees, when questioned in their respective offices, admitted that they did not have any real loss under the head “income from house property”.

The employees said the CA had told them he could get them refund by making some claims. Out of the refund, he also took 10% as incidental charges. Some WhatsApp messages between the employees and the CA were also shown by them as supporting evidence.

The CA now claims the revised returns were filed at the instance of his clients.

Details of persons who filed revised returns, claiming bogus house property loss, have been seized. Interrogation of the CA and clients is ongoing.

Warning

The Income Tax Department stated that processing of returns, and disbursal of refunds is now an automated process, based on the principle of trusting the taxpayer. The note warned that fraudulent claims would amount to not only a betrayal of this trust but also result in the taxpayer having to shell out a heavy interest, penalty, and possibly even serve a jail term.

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