I-T Department conducts search and seizure on film production cos in Mumbai

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Search and survey operations by income tax department on two leading film production companies, a leading actress and two talent management companies in Mumbai has unearthed suppression of income and discrepancy of Rs 300 crore, the Central Board of Direct Taxes said Thursday.

“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 has been found and is being further investigated,” it said.

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“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 Rs 300 crore,” the Board added.

The Board did not name the companies or people involved.

The search and survey operation began on Wednesday and was going on at Mumbai, Pune, Delhi and Hyderabad.

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CBDT said that the group is mainly engaged in the business of producing 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.

Evidence of cash receipts by the leading actress amounting to Rs 5 crore has been recovered. Further investigation is going on.

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Apart from this, non-genuine or bogus expenditure to related concerns by the leading producers or directors having tax implication of about Rs 20 crore has been detected. Similar findings have been made in the case of the leading actress as well, the Board added.

“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 Board said.

During the search, 7 bank lockers have been found which have been placed under restraint.

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Separately, unaccounted income of Rs 175 crore was detected and unaccounted cash of Rs 3 crore was seized after search and seizure operations were conducted on two groups of civilcontractors in southern Tamil Nadu.

In this case, the assessee was booking bogus expenses under various heads to reduce the profits. The declared profits were less than 2% of the turnover, when in actual accounts the profits exceeded 20%.

Similarly more than 100 subcontractors 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 Board said in a separate statement.

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