Actor Sonu Sood evaded taxes of over ₹ 20 crore, said the Income Tax department


Bollywood’s celebrity actor Sonu Sood has been informed by the IT department about a survey of houses and offices, saying he has allegedly defrauded tax of over Rs 20 crore.

The actor and his associates were involved in 20 crore tax evasion and violation of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) while raising funds from abroad, the Income Tax (I-T) department said on Saturday, as raids on multiple locations linked to the actor continued for the third consecutive day.

According to the CBDT, Sood’s organisation has collected donations worth 18.94 crore since April 1, 2021. Of this, around 1.9 crore has been spent so far on various relief work, while the remaining 17 crore is lying unutilised in the bank account of the foundation, it added.

“It is seen that funds to the tune of 2.1 crore have also been raised by the charity foundation from overseas donors on a crowdfunding platform in violation of (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) FCRA regulations,” the CBDT statement said.

During a survey on Sonu’s house, there was evidence of tax fraud with his associates. The CBDT said that it had mainly shipped untold revenues through bogus entities. The IT department surveyed Sonu Sood and a Lucknow-based firm.

According to the allegations against the actor, the efforts to help those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic have been highly praised. But in July last year, COVID’s first wave of charity, the nonprofit Sood Charity Foundation, raised more than ₹ 18 crores. As of April this year, it spent ₹ 1.9 crores on relief work. The remaining ₹ 17 crore remains unused in a non-profit bank account, officials said.

Sources said, “Information is being collected on the latest deal between Sonu Sood’s company and Lucknow-based real estate firm” and a survey of tax fraud allegations based on the deal. Sonu Sood has invested money in a Lucknow institution. Evidence is available on this.

In addition, Lucknow’s company has received a bogus contract of over ₹ 65 crore. It is reported that further investigation has been conducted.

By Satish Kavarigadde.

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