Other States

I-T Dept. detects massive under-invoicing of imported gadgets

The taxman found that the modus operandi of the trading group "involves import of goods in the name of shell entities at under-valued and/or wrongful declaration of description of goods imported, with an intent to evade customs duty,"   | Photo Credit: Twitter. @IncomeTaxIndia

Searches by the Income-Tax Department in and around Delhi, Haryana and West Bengal have revealed under-invoicing by an importer and trader of laptops, mobile phones and peripheral parts. The goods were being imported in the name of shell entities.

While the value of imports declared at the port of entry through shell companies in the past three years was at ₹20 crore, the agency has estimated that the actual value of the goods could be more than ₹2,000 crore.

The search operations were initiated on October 10, and gradually, multiple locations were covered to gather evidence, revealing the group was involved in massive under-invoicing and wrongful declaration of goods imported by it. The I-T Department found unrecorded transactions, unaccounted investment in properties, bogus loans taken by the entities concerned and other irregularities.

“The modus operandi involved import of goods in the name of shell entities at under-valued and/or wrongful declaration of description of goods imported, with an intent to evade customs duty. Upon clearance at the port(s), such goods have been found to be distributed throughout India by way of out-of-books cash transactions,” said the I-T Department.

Search of container in Kolkata

It came across evidence in this regard while searching a container at the Kolkata port, where the bill of lading declared the goods as “HDMI cables” valued at ₹3.80 lakh. However, on desealing the consignments, it was found that the goods were laptops and mobile phones, with actual value of ₹64 crore.

As alleged, payments for such under-invoiced goods to the foreign consigners had been made through “hawala” channels. “Almost the entire business has been found to be run through such modus operandi,” the I-T Department stated.

The wealth so generated was used for acquisition of immovable properties, the cash was shown as rental income and unsecured loans and deposits were made in foreign bank accounts. During the searches, the department so far has seized ₹2.75 crore in unaccounted cash.


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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 10:58:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/i-t-dept-detects-import-under-invoicing-tax-evasion-by-laptop-firm/article37016791.ece

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