Box office income suppressed by ₹300 crore, says I-T Dept.


The Income Tax Department said on Thursday that its search and survey operations on two leading film production companies, a leading actress, and two talent management firms in Mumbai, has unearthed a discrepancy in income of ₹300 crore, and manipulations in share transactions with tax implications of ₹350 crore at one of the film production houses.

On Wednesday, the Department raided properties linked to filmmaker Anurag Kashyap and actor Taapsee Pannu in Mumbai, as well as premises linked to a talent agency and Phantom Films, co-founded by Mr. Kashyap, and producers Vikas Bahl and Madhu Mantena.

“Evidence of cash receipts by the leading actress amounting to ₹5 crore has been recovered. Apart from this, non-genuine/bogus expenditure to related concerns by the leading producers/director having tax implication of about ₹20 crore has been detected. Similar findings have been made in the case of the leading actress also,” the Department said in a statement.

Seven bank lockers have been placed under restraint and searches are continuing in 28 residential and office premises at Mumbai, Pune, Delhi and Hyderabad, the statement said.

“During the search, evidence of huge suppression of income by the leading Film Production house compared to the actual box office collections has been unearthed. The company officials have not been able to explain discrepancy of around ₹300 crore,” it said.

Evidence related to manipulation and under-valuation of share transactions of the production house amongst the film directors and shareholders, having tax implication of about ₹350 crore, has been found and is being further investigated.

“At the office premises of the two talent management companies, huge amount of digital data has been seized in the form of emails, whatsapp chats, hard disk etc which are under investigation,” the IT department said.

Raids in Tamil Nadu

Separately, search and seizure operations by the Income Tax Department on two groups of civil contractors in southern Tamil Nadu have yielded ₹3 crore in unaccounted cash, and led to the detection of unaccounted income of ₹175 crore. Searches and surveys were conducted in 18 premises, mainly in Madurai and Ramnad districts, the Department said.

“Based on intelligence inputs about the existence of cash, which is likely to be distributed for election purposes, searches were mounted on the business groups. The action resulted in the finding of unaccounted cash of ₹3 crore which was seized,” the tax authorities said.

The tax officials also found that the tax assessee is booking bogus expenses under various heads to reduce profits to less than 2% of turnover, though they exceeded 20%. “Similarly, more than 100 sub-contractors were introduced to book expenses to meet illegal payments, and on-money payments for property purchases. These subcontractors introduced, had filed returns of income from the same IP address, and for the first time ever, showing only this receipt as their sole income,” the Department said, adding that further investigations are underway.

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