Actor Sonu Sood has evaded taxes of over 20 crore, the income tax department said in a statement today, after visiting his Mumbai home for three days in a row for a search.
The actor’s Sood Charity Foundation which was set up in July last year during the Covid first wave collected donations of over ₹18 crore till April this year, out of which ₹1.9 crore has been spent on relief work and the balance ₹17 crore has been lying unused in the non-profit’s bank account.
‘The main modus operandi followed by the actor had been to route his unaccounted income in the form of bogus unsecured loans from many bogus entities,’ a tax department official was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The tax department said Mr Sood’s non-profit also raised ₹ 2.1 crore from overseas donors using a crowdfunding platform in violation of the law – Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act – that governs such transactions.
“During the course of search at the premises of the actor and his associates, incriminating evidences pertaining to tax evasion have been found. The main modus operandi followed by the actor had been to route his unaccounted income in the form of bogus unsecured loans from many bogus entities,” the tax department said in the statement.
“Investigations so far have revealed use of 20 such entries, the providers of which, on examination, have accepted on oath to have given bogus accommodation entries. They have accepted to have issued cheques in lieu of cash. There have been instances where professional receipts have been camouflaged as loans in the books of accounts for the purpose of evasion of tax. It has also been revealed that these bogus loans have been used for making investments and acquiring properties. The total amount of tax evaded unearthed so far, amounts to more than ₹ 20 crore,” the tax department said.
Sources have said “a recent deal between Sonu Sood’s company and a Lucknow-based real estate firm is under the scanner”, and the survey operation began on allegations of tax evasion on this deal.
As many as 28 premises in Mumbai, Lucknow, Kanpur, Jaipur, Delhi, Gurugram were searched during the operation.