Chennai: Income tax investigators have attached properties worth over Rs 700 crore of two liquor manufacturers in Tamil Nadu after raids revealed alleged evasion by over-invoicing raw material purchases.
Investigators had raided 62 places in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Goa on Tuesday and Friday in raids after tip-offs about alleged evasion.
IT officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said SNJ Distelleries was raided on Tuesday and unaccounted cash was seized. The distelleries is owned by the SNJ group, promoted by SN Jayamurugan who has produced two films for which scripts were penned by the late DMK patriach M Karunanidhi.
A press release from the department said the modus operandi of the large manufacturer of beer and Indian Made Foreign Liquor involved over-invoicing of purchase of raw materials and bottles, which constituted a major portion of the cost of production. "The suppliers received payment at the inflated value by cheque or RTGS, but paid back the excess value in cash to key confidante employees of the group. The search teams gathered evidence of such over-invoicing and return of cash by suppliers. Such inflation by over-invoicing amounted to suppression of taxable income of almost Rs 400 crore over a period of six years,” it added.
The searches revealed another business group in the same industry that had allegedly evaded tax worth Rs 300 crore.
Tamil Nadu’s liquor is retailed by the state government entity TASMAC, which has come under political fire that led the Jayalalithaa-led government to announce phased prohibition. According to an RTI report, Tasmac sales revenues touched Rs 31,729 crore for the fiscal 2017-18. TASMAC generated tax revenue of Rs 26,797 crore in the said fiscal.