Bollywood actor Sonu Sood, who had undergone a massive three-day Income Tax survey, has reportedly evaded taxes of over Rs200 million, said the IT department in a statement.
The 48-year-old actor had recently announced a tie-up with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party government.
“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.
The IT department also found that the actor -- who was at the forefront of helping COVID-19 relief work in India -- had raised millions illegally.
According to a report on NDTV, Sood’s non-profit raised Rs20million from overseas donors using a crowd-funding platform in violation of the law - Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act - that governs such transactions.
“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 Rs200million,” the tax department said in the statement to NDTV.
Sood, who has acted in blockbusters including ‘Happy New Year, was at the forefront of helping millions of Indians during the COVID-19 surge in India.
During that time, he also set up a non-profit Sood Charity Foundation in July last year to collect money for relief. Sood also helped migrant labourers who had lost their jobs to return to their villages by arranging food and transport.
While he was hailed as a real-life superhero on account of his humanitarian work involving thousands of migrant Indian labourers during the COVID-19 outbreak, he told Gulf News earlier this year that he harboured zero political ambitions.
“I have no interest in politics. I have been offered to join politics, but I am not even interested in it even one per cent. I am very happy being an actor. I am doing very well for myself in the acting profession. I am not going to join politics,” said Sood in an earlier interview with Gulf News.