Income Tax Department carries out search, seizure operations in J&K

Officials of the Income Tax Department carried out a search and seizure operation on a prominent hotelier who owns a chain of hotels in Srinagar, Gulmarg, Sonamarg and Pahalgam with another hotel under construction at Leh, in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday, informed the Finance Ministry on Thursday.

Officials have said various incriminating documents and materials evidencing unexplained investments in immovable properties, construction of hotels and residences aggregating to Rs 25 crores in the last six financial years have been seized during the search.

Officials added that the accused has not paid any tax since the year 2014-15 and almost all the investments were in cash and outside the ‘known sources’ of his income.

“During the course of the search operation, receipt of unsecured loans to the tune of Rs 25 crore in the past two years from persons of no-means has been found. All these loans are prima-facie not genuine, as the same have been advanced by persons with doubtful creditworthiness,” a release stated.

“The search also revealed that the assessee’s children are studying abroad and expenditure of approximately Rs 25 lakh per annum is being incurred and prima-facie appears undisclosed. He is also running a B-Ed College as a Trust. It is not registered and no return is being filed for the Trust though it has substantial taxable income. He also admitted to having spent Rs 40 lakh on renovation of his house,” the statement added.

The department also carried out searches at a prominent jeweller in Srinagar. During the search, it was known that he had not maintained books of accounts of his business even though the turnover is around Rs 2 crore to Rs 10 crore in the previous years.

The search revealed that an undeclared bank account was maintained by the accused with deposits in crores of rupees, which has not been offered to tax. He also sold property of Rs 1.90 crore in Srinagar in 2015-16 and capital gains tax, on which were not paid.

“During the search, documents were found, revealing receipt of sum of Rs 16 lakh in cash as ‘Pagri’ by the assessee in 2019-20. The payment of Pagri is also out of undisclosed income. There is a sale of Rs 33 lakh flat in Delhi was made by his wife and the source of investment of buyer also seems undisclosed, which is being investigated,” it added.

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