Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan has reportedly been issued a notice from India’s Income Tax department, ordering him to disclose all his offshore accounts. The actor was given the notice about a fortnight ago after tax officials found out about his investments in Bermuda, Dubai, and the British Virgin Islands (BVI).
The Panama Papers leak in April this year included the names of a number of Bollywood celebrities, including the Bachchans. The leak also revealed a list of individuals who had paid Mossack Fonseca – a law firm in Panama known for its “factory-like production” of offshore companies, for wealthy individuals and others who sought a loophole in paying taxes.
According to an Economic Times (ET) report, the IT department have issued the notice to Shah Rukh Khan under Section 131 of the Income Tax Act, which allows officials to investigate details of the actor’s wealth overseas. The notice does not currently indicate whether the IT department has any proof of SRK actually violating tax laws. Nevertheless, a detailed questionnaire has been sent to him, reports the Economic Times. Shahrukh Khan hasn’t yet responded to the notice.
These notices are being sent to industrialists and other Bollywood celebrities in a bid to ensure that their investments are legitimate, and that they are working under the ongoing Income Declaration Scheme (IDS), which aims to bring previously undeclared income and assets into the tax bracket. Names of other celebrities receiving similar notices haven’t yet been disclosed.
Reports claim that this strategy has the backing of the Finance Ministry, and is targeted at celebrities and other wealthy individuals. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley recently revealed that the Income Tax Department has detected undisclosed income worth Rs. 22,475 crore in over 9,500 surveys conducted over the past two years.
The NDA-led government, which appears to be serious in its attempt to stop black money, launched the IDS on 1 June. Those who declare such income have till 30 September 2017 to pay their taxes at a staggered rate.