MUMBAI: As much as Rs 3,200 crore-worth tax deducted at source (TDS) of employees working for 447 companies was redirected as working capital, found the I-T deparment.
The anomalies between the tax deducted and tax deposited with the government were traced during an investigation between April 2017 and March 2018 after which the TDS wing of the I-T initiated prosecution against these firms and issued warrants in some cases.
Under the Income Tax Act, the offence attracts a minimum of rigorous imprisonment of three months to a maximum of seven years with fine. While the prosecution is initiated under Section 276 B, the I-T department is contemplating adding IPC sections of cheating and criminal breach of trust, sources said.
The offenders mainly include builders including a leading and politically businessman who diverted Rs 100 crore. Others are from various sectors, including movie production houses, infrastructure companies, start-ups and fly-by-night operators.
An infrastructure company, part of a port development company diverted Rs 14 crore, while an MNC which provides IT solutions has not yet deposited Rs 11 crore, sources said.
Recovery, too, has been initiated by attaching bank accounts besides movable and immovable assets, a source said.