IT dept to unearth unaccounted cash

Stash of cash at roadside stall leads IT department sleuths to undertake inspections at all Ghatkopar hotels

The Income Tax (IT) department has started the inspection of all hotels across Ghatkopar, after its raid of a streetside food stall last week. Incognito IT officials visited Sai Swad food stall at MG Road, Vallabh Baug lane, Ghatkopar (East), known for its dosa varieties. The stall that has been in business for several years, is owned by Vijay Reddy.

An IT official said that they found Rs 60,000 in cash at Sai Swad food stall.

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“We had kept a tight vigil on Reddy’s food corner as we were sure that the owner was evading paying taxes to the department. After seven days, the stall was searched and a large amount of cash was found,” he said. Reddy claimed that the cash was not income from the stall, but that it was money loaned to him by his friends.

The department is verifying the facts.

Reddy serves around 45 dosa varieties. He is well known to his customers, and is fond of wearing gold ornaments.

“After the search, we realised that the hotelier may not have been showing unaccountable cash while filing income tax returns to the department. Now a team is visiting all the hotels in Ghatkopar, and is checking the kitchen table orders (KTOs),” the official said.

A hotelier from Ghatkopar (West), on condition of anonymity said, “We pay our income tax returns regularly. They barged into our hotel and inspected all the bills as well as KTOs. Usually we tally everything at night, so it is very in unethical for them to check this way. We are in a state of fear but cannot help it as the IT officials claim that they can inspect our bills and other accounts documents.”

AHAR (Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association) President Adarsh Shetty said, “We have received information that IT officials have been checking documents at various hotels, but it is part of their job.”

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Originally published on The Golden Sparrow

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