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I-T Dept to initiate action against 28,000 J&K govt employees for incorrect tax refunds 

News Agencies

Srinagar, Jun 4: After filing FIRs against 404 J&K government employees for allegedly filing inaccurate Income Tax Returns (ITRs), J&K administration is now contemplating action against 28,000 government employees whose ITRs have invited attention from the Income Tax Department.
Officials said that the I-T Department has found that this purported fraud took place during the Income Tax Returns (ITRs) filing seasons in 2020-21 and 2021-22. According to an estimate, over 28,000 government employees have fraudulently claimed refunds for 2020-21 and 2021-22 and the department will soon initiate action against them after sending them notices for scrutiny of their ITRs, the sources said.
The alleged irregularities came to light sometime back after the Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) wing of the department located in Srinagar found that a number of people who are assessed in the Union Territory of J-K had claimed “excessive and ineligible deductions” under various heads leading to claim of bogus refunds, the sources said.
Over 9,000 employees filed their ITR-U in J&K by March end and the department collected additional tax of more than Rs 56 crore, the sources said.
The Principal Director of I-T (J-K and Ladakh) M P Singh sanctioned filing of police FIRs against the CA and 404 other people that includes some dubious tax advisors and filers for “entering into a conspiracy and defrauding the exchequer of a sum of Rs 16.72 crore between the financial years 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20.”
The department found that many among these people had filed incorrect or false ITRs and had identically claimed around Rs 4 lakh in refunds, they said.
The department, as part of the complaints that resulted in two FIRs filed on May 25, has shared with the police the names, addresses, PAN and bank accounts of these 405 people after which the crime branch froze these bank deposits, the sources said.
The police has booked these people under various sections of the IPC like 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery), 471 (using a forged document as genuine), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and section 66D of the Information Technology Act (cheating by impersonation).
Alarmed by this development, the department ran a fresh check in November last year for the ITRs filed by salaried employees working in J-K and found similar instances of bogus claims of deduction made by them to seek refunds.
The employees, as per the sources, belong to the Power Development, Health, Tourism, Education, banks, universities, apart from personnel of the police and the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), that are deployed in the UT.
The I-T Principal Commissioner wrote to the heads of these organisations in March informing them that there is a provision to correct or update such returns by filing an ITR-U and avoid getting into legal trouble.

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