Published On: Thu, Mar 4th, 2021

I-T Dept raids on Bolywood personalities unearth Rs 300 Cr discrepancy

New Delhi: The Income Tax Department on Thursday issued a statement a day after they raided the homes and offices of Bollywood actor Taapsee Pannu and filmmaker Anurag Kashyap as well as his partners who launched the now-shuttered production house Phantom Films, officials said.

The company officials have not been able to explain the discrepancy of around Rs. 300 crore

The IT Department in their statement highlighted that they found seven bank lockers that have been placed under restraint. They also revealed that the production company was unable to explain the discrepancy of around Rs. 300 crore.

The statement issued by the IT department states: “The Income Tax Department is carrying out search and survey operations which started on 03.03.2021 on two leading film production companies, a leading actress and two Talent Management companies in Mumbai. The search operation is being carried out at 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 include residences and offices.

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 the discrepancy of around Rs. 300 crore. 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. Evidence of cash receipts by the leading actress amounting to Rs 5 crore has been recovered. Further investigation is going on.

Apart from this, non-genuine/bogus expenditure to related concerns by the leading producers/director having tax implication of about Rs. 20 crore has been detected. Similar findings have been made in the case of the leading actress also. At the office premises of the two talent management companies, a huge amount of digital data has been seized in the form of emails, WhatsApp chats, hard disks, etc which are under investigation. During the search, 7 bank lockers have been found which have been placed under restraint. Search is continuing in all the premises.”

The searches, part of a tax evasion probe against Phantom Films and carried out across 30 locations in Mumbai and Pune, also covered Reliance Entertainment group CEO Shibhasish Sarkar and some executives of celebrity and talent management companies KWAN and Exceed, they said.

The others searched include some Phantom Films production house employees, which was dissolved in 2018, and its then promoters Kashyap, director-producer Vikramaditya Motwane, producer Vikas Bahl and producer-distributor Madhu Mantena.

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