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Income Tax department may defend CPC in returns fraud case
March, 06th 2018

The Income Tax (I-T) department is expected to defend its role in the case filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 1,010 instances of fraudulent claims of tax refunds in Bengaluru, said a top official in the I-T department.

The I-T returns and refund claims are processed according to a software programme with little scope for human intervention, the official told ET. The Central Processing Centre (CPC) in Bengaluru, managed by Infosys, processes I-T returns and refund claims for the entire country.

The I-T department, recently detected the refund fraud involving 250 private sector staff. They allegedly claimed refunds totalling Rs 5 crore. Nagesh Sastri helped them make these fraudulent claims for assessment years 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17.

"We are moving as per the law against all these employees, which will involve both heavy penalties and prosecution. We will also persecute the persons, Sastri in this case, for aiding the fraud," said the official.

The first information report (FIR), registered by the CBI in Bengaluru on February 27, however, suspects the role of sections of I-T officials posted at CPC and Infosys executives at CPC in the refund fraud. The I-T department officials say it was their surveillance which unearthed the fraud and they would be happy if the CBI goes after the private individuals involved in fake claims.

It turns out the CBI registered the case suo moto. "Officers are not involved in routine refunds, which are system generated. Everyday, the CPC processes several lakhs refund claims in line with the stated objective of the government to issue refunds within 45 days of the claim," another I-T official said.

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