Income tax (I-T) authorities, on Wednesday, raided the premises of two prominent city-based builders to verify allegations of cash dealings in the sale of projects.
The builders in question are Keystone Realtors Private Limited of Rustomjee Group and Evershine Builders Private Limited. Around 150 I-T officers and staff took part in the raids, which covered 24 premises in Mumbai, Thane and Virar.
An I-T officer, requesting anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media, said the two groups were raided simultaneously as they had some joint venture projects. The authorities are specifically investigating the partnership arrangement between the two groups in their residential project in Virar.
“We also had information that the two groups were taking part payments in cash while selling residential and commercial projects in Mumbai, Thane and Virar,” the officer said. The department is verifying allegations that the groups had invested undeclared cash in some of their projects. The department also learnt that the groups were inflating expenses to show less profit in account books to evade tax. “We found that expenses were inflated in purchase of building construction material, payment to contractors and expenditure on interiors,” the officer said.
The authorities, on Wednesday, scrutinised bills to find out the amount in inflated expenses. They also recovered a large amount of finance and accounts related documents and computer records. The authorities are also going through the memorandum of understanding between the two groups. The raids were on till late night and are expected to continue on Thursday.
BP Gaud, director general of income tax (investigation), Mumbai, confirmed that there were searches conducted on both companies. Boman R Irani, chairman and managing director of the Rustomjee Group, said, “It is a regular survey. This is normal process. Once a year the income tax department comes to developers.” He denied that the group had cash dealings in the sale of projects. The Ludhanis, owners of Evershine, did not answer the calls.