CA along with 404 other persons booked for fake tax refund scam worth Rs 16.64 crore

Over four years, from 2018–19 to 2021–2022, a total of Rs 88 crore was allegedly implicated in fake refunds.

CA booked for fake tax refund scam

CA Pratibha Goyal | Jun 5, 2023 |

CA along with 404 other persons booked for fake tax refund scam worth Rs 16.64 crore

CA along with 404 other persons booked for fake tax refund scam worth Rs 16.64 crore

The Income Tax Department discovered a scam involving income tax refund claims totaling Rs 16.64 crore that used fake and inactive Accounts Office Identification Numbers (AINs) and Tax Deduction Account Numbers (TANs) of various government departments. As a result, two separate FIRs have been filed with the Crime Branch Srinagar against one chartered accountant and 404 other individuals.

According to official sources, information regarding Jammu and Kashmir was shared with the Commissioner of Income Tax (TDS) Chandigarh in the month of January of last year following a thorough investigation by the office of the Joint Commissioner of Income Tax, Manachira Kozhikode (Kerala) regarding bogus refund claims made by manipulating inactive AINs and creating fraudulent TAN by some unscrupulous individuals.

Imran Dara, a chartered accountant, was the primary perpetrator of the scam in Jammu and Kashmir. He used three false AINs and one inactive AIN of four government departments and uploaded false payments and TDS on numerous TANs. Subsequently, the Income Tax Officer (TDS) Srinagar conducted a more in-depth investigation by recording the statements of various people under Section 131 of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

Later, he gave 1208 PANs belonging to his known people credit. Out of them, 404 PAN holders filed income tax forms and received TDS refunds that were deposited in their bank accounts and thereafter withdrew.

The investigation also turned up the fact that Imran Dara utilized 4 AINs and 9 TANs to carry out the scam. The AINs came from the Sub-Divisional Magistrate Office in Dawar, the Gurez Bandipora, the Principal of the Government Higher Secondary School in Kupwara, the Executive Engineer in Sumbal, and the Executive Engineer R&B in Right River Circular Road in Srinagar.

The TANs used in the scam were given to the Executive Engineer, R&B Right River Circular Road Division Srinagar, Executive Engineer Division Sumbal, Principal of the Government Girls Higher Secondary School in Kupwara, SDM office in Dewar, SDM office in Gurez, Headmaster of the Government Higher Secondary School in Budgam, Headmaster of the Government High School in Bulginder Bandipora, Headmaster of the Government Secondary School in Kilshay Gurez, Headmaster of the High School

Investigations indicated that the majority of TAN holders were school teachers who, despite occasionally having TDS deducted from their pay, did not complete any TDS returns. Additionally, DDOs were not aware that phoney returns were being filed in their names using their TANs for fake refund claims.

The TDS credit in phoney Form 24G filed by Sub-Divisional Magistrate office under AIN-11004471 for the Financial Year 2016–17 was liked to TAN of M/s ICDS and Co (Proprietary concern) and was ultimately credited into PAN of Imran Amir Dara, Proprietor of M/s ICDS and Co. This demonstrates that Imran Amir Dara, in addition to being the schemer behind the entire scheme, is a direct beneficiary of the fraud, according to sources.

The actual rate for Section 194C tax deductions is only 2%, but in phony TDS filings, other rates—10% and 20%—have been applied for such payments, demonstrating that the con artists TAN holders were altering the rates on the higher side to obtain the greatest refunds.

“Over four years, from 2018–19 to 2021–2022, a total of Rs 88 crore was allegedly implicated in fake refunds. According to sources, 1208 PANs were found to be used to process fake refunds throughout the thorough examination. Only 410 of the 1208 unique PANs were used to file ITRs, and of those 410 ITRs, 404 cases totaling Rs 16.64 crore received refunds for the assessment years 2018–19 and 2020–21.

The ultimate beneficiaries, who are the ones who collected the return cash, are CA Imran Amin Dara and 404 PAN holders, according to sources.

On the instruction of the Principal Commissioner of Income Tax Srinagar M P Singh, Akash Kumar Meena, Income Tax Officer (Technical), Srinagar, has filed the FIRs with the Crime Branch of the Jammu & Kashmir Police.

The Special Director General of Police (Crime) has ordered the formation of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to do additional research into the situation.

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