Bribe a CA, cheat the nation, get a tax refund

Mumbai: You pay your taxes on time and are honest about it, but unscrupulous chartered accountants and people desperate to get refunds are cheating you and the country of crores of money.

Network 18 reporters posing as clients have exposed a racket in which chartered accountants (CA) help in getting bogus refunds. In a congested office in suburban Mumbai, a CA promised the reporters to get refunds through forged documents.

CA: Rs 12,000 will be deducted as PF and Rs 2,500 as PT. Do you have an LIC policy or any other investment?

Reporter: No.

CA: I’ll give you a policy of LIC.

Reporter: But what about last year’s refund?

CA: For last year, I’ll need payment slips.

Reporter: So we’ll have to file refunds?

CA: Yes, get me Form 16 then I'll get you refunds for both last year and this year? You'll not have to pay a penny.

Reporter: If we get this form then what?

CA: We will show bogus rent receipts and get you refund.

As many as 400 major cases of fake tax refunds were reported last year, causing a loss of crores of rupees. Loopholes in the Income Tax Act come handy to the fraudsters. They exploit the Section 80 C of the Act, which offers reliefs to the taxpayer for investments and expenditures.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, in a report to Parliament in December 2006, says that several CAs in connivance with tax officials are claiming fake income tax refunds worth crores through bogus Tax Deducted at Source certificates.

Yashwant Sinha, member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, wants strong action against the Cas. “I will react very firmly and suggest that strong action should be taken, both against officials and CAs,” he said.

(Watch the entire expose on Friday at 7. 30 pm on CNBC TV 18. )

Bribe a CA, cheat the nation, get a tax refund - Yahoo! India News