IT Dept accuses Sonu Sood of Rs 20 crore tax evasion and violations of FCRA regulations

MUMBAI: After raiding several locations of actor Sonu Sood in Mumbai and other infrastructure companies in Lucknow and other cities, The Central Board Of Taxes has alleged that Sood had evaded tax of Rs 20 crore and has also violated Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) regulatios. 

In a press release issued by the department spokesperson Surabhi Ahluwalia, Commissioner of Income Tax, the department conducted search and seizure operations at a total of 28 premises spread over Mumbai, Lucknow, Kanpur, Jaipur, Delhi, and Gurgaon connected to Sood and a Lucknow based group of industries engaged in infrastructure development during which incriminating pieces of evidence pertaining to tax evasion have been found.

The statement says that 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 (so far have revealed use of twenty such entries) the providers of which, on examination, have accepted on oath to have given bogus accommodation entries. 

"The provider of bogus entities 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 Rs. 20 crore," the release said.

The department has also accused Sood of violating the FCRA while raising donations from abroad. "It is seen that funds to the tune of Rs. 2.1 crore have also been raised by the Charity Foundation from overseas donors on a crowdfunding platform in violation of FCRA regulations," the released added

According to the department, Sood’s charity foundation, founded last July has raised Rs 18.94 crore in donations from April 2021 till date and spent only Rs 1.7 crore in relief work. The remaining Rs 17 crore is lying with the foundation unutilised, it alleged.

The release also added that they have seized cash of Rs 1.8 crore and 11 Lockers have been placed under prohibitory order.

The actors and his NGO, Sood Charity Foundation which was in news for helping migrants during the pandemic on its portal say that it runs many campaigns like Pravasi Rojgar, Ruk Jaana Nahi, Sonu for You,  Prof. Saroj Sood Scholarship and Ghar Bhejo, In its humanitarian endeavours, the NGO runs several scholarship programs for students of many different filed. 

He had been recently announced as the brand ambassador for Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government's 'Desh ka mentors' programme.


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