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Karnataka: 14 co-op banks in I-T net for abetting tax evasion

The Income Tax department has initiated action against 14 cooperative banks in Karnataka for holding back information amounting to abetting tax evasion in respect of deposits as it came across Rs 7,636 crore of amount in 80 banks in searches during this year.

I-T Director (Intelligence and Criminal Investigation) Ravichandran Ramaswamy told reporters in Bengaluru that the department during 14 searches conducted on banks, especially cooperative banks, during the year so far, found an amount of (deposits) Rs 7,636 crore.

“We have, as of today, found out an amount of Rs 7,636 crore in 14 searches conducted on banks, especially cooperative banks in current year across Karnataka… We have taken action against 14 cooperative banks as they have been exposed to prosecution for holding back information, which amounts to aiding and abetting tax evasion,” he said.

Replying to a query, Ramaswamy said out of the 285 banks in Karnataka, 80 banks have not been providing information by way of annual returns. “They will have to face penalty of Rs 500 every day,” he said.

He further said the department had also issued as many as 2,300 letters to the depositors, asking them to pay up taxes on their deposits. “We have already got 800 people coming forward to declare their income and paying up taxes and penalty,” he said.

Ramaswamy said the department has also intimated the Reserve Bank of India to conduct inspections on banks which were not disclosing information (about deposits). “We have also written to Registrar of Karnataka Cooperative to take action,” he added.