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Bangalore IT park defrauds Rs 75.8cr
February, 23rd 2009

On paper, this tech park had 37 units functioning on its premises all entitled to income tax concessions. What they turned out to be were nothing less than maintenance rooms located in the car park! And the tech park owner stashed away Rs 75.8 crore that he had claimed as tax concessions for three assessment years.

In a classic example of gross misuse of incentives doled out by the government, a big tech player, who is the kin of a Congress bigwig, got approval through the automatic route under the states industrial park scheme 2002, by fudging documents right from non-existent company names to fictitious MoUs and claimed tax benefits.

The tech park owner had claimed income tax concessions for 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07 on profits earned through leasing and renting out space to various units.

The case, cracked by the Income Tax sleuths, has assumed importance in the light of incentives being given to industrial units all over the country. Following a raid on the IT park at CV Ramanagar, it was found that the owner, in his application, had shown that 37 units were functioning in the industrial park. As per the provisions of industrial park scheme, income tax concession can be allowed only if all the units specified in the application are located and are operational.

On a tip-off, IT sleuths conducted a raid and found that only eight units were located even as the managing director of the tech park company maintained that the industrial park had 37 operational units. When he was asked to physically identify the units, the MD claimed that the locked rooms in the multi-level car park were the office spaces allotted to those units. When the rooms were opened, it turned out to be empty maintenance rooms!

In the face of hard evidence collected during the raid, the assessee eventually withdrew the concession claim aggregating to Rs 75.8 crore. The search and subsequent probe brought to light that the internal auditor was paid Rs 2 lakh to arrange for bogus company names for MoUs.

The investigations were carried out by Bangalore circle investigation wing comprising Abhay Kumar, director, SVSS Prasad, additional director, and B L Guru Prasad, deputy director.

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