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I-T officials find discrepancy worth Rs 650 crore after raids on Taapsee, Anurag

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Mumbai: In its recent raids on Bollywood director Anurag Kashyap and actress Taapsee Pannu’s official and residential premises, the Income-Tax department reportedly recovered evidence of huge amounts of cash and illegal transactions worth in crores.

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After two days of searches in Mumbai and Pune, the I-T officials claimed that during their investigation they got hold of “evidence of cash receipts by the leading actress (Taapsee Pannu) amounting to Rs 5 crore.” The probe agency, which raided the official and residential premises of Anurag Kashyap, also claims to have found bogus expenditure of the director having tax implication of about Rs 20 crore.

In IT crackdown, Tapsee Pannu accepted to have around Rs 5 crore in cash. Her endorsement deals and film signing amounts are under I-T scanner and her company is also suspected to be involved in income tax evasion. Some of Taapsee’s film signing amounts are under crores. Her preliminary statement was recorded on March 3 and today, the actress recorded a detailed statement.

The central officials suspect that some data had been deleted from her phone and to recover this lost data they are taking help from experts. Taapsee can again be summoned by the department in the coming days.

Meanwhile, Shareholders of Phantom Films are suspected to have abused income tax law by evading around Rs 600 crore. The shareholders carried out a stake sale of Phantom Films, which was dissolved in October 2018, and they didn’t pay income tax from the money they generated from that.

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The Income Tax officials also suspect that they have created bogus expenditure and fake bills. Mobile data of Anurag, one of the shareholders of Phantom Films, has been deleted and the deletion is visible. The data from other shareholder’s phone has also been wiped off. It is suspected that the phone data was removed after the NCB (Narcotics Control Bureau) crackdown began on Bollywood personalities after Sushant Singh Rajput’s death.

According to officials, during their crackdown, “evidence of huge suppression of income by the leading Film Production house (Phantom films) compared to the actual box office collections has been unearthed. The company officials have not been able to explain the discrepancy of around Rs 300 crore.”

I-T officials have also allegedly found 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 Rs 350 crore.

On Thursday, the IT department carried out several raids and survey operations on Phantom Films, Reliance Entertainment, Taapsee Pannu, Kwan Talent Management and Exceed Entertainment for alleged tax evasion. While searches are being carried out at official and residential premises of suspects in Mumbai, Pune, Delhi and Hyderabad.

“The group is mainly engaged in the business of production of motion pictures, web series, acting, direction and talent management of celebrities and other artists. A total of 28 premises are being covered in different locations which includes residences and offices,” said the department.

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As per reports, crackdown on tax offender will continue by the department and suspects can again be questioned tomorrow, including Bollywood’s big names- Taapsee and Anurag.

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