Mumbai, Jun 14: Many taxpayers in India’s financial capital are spending sleepless nights. No, it’s not the fear of the taxman knocking on their door in the dead of the night, it’s the fear of the underworld.
Several taxpayers who have filed Income Tax returns of more than Rs 40 lakh in Financial Year 2005-2006 have been receiving extortion calls.
Baldev Singh (name changed to protect identity), a Mumbai-based cloth trader is going through the scariest experience of his life.
Having filed his I-T returns on his annual salary of Rs 40 lakh, Singh was breathing easy - till he started getting scary extortion calls from Dubai, Karachi and other private numbers.
Singh suspects someone from the I-T department has leaked his income details. He has reasons to feel suspicious.
Singh had recently received information that the I-T department had misplaced his file of returns.“I've been getting obscene threatening calls from the underworld. They even threatened to kill me if I don’t pay up,” Singh says.
Business entrepreneur Henna Makheja is going through a similar trauma. Makheja, who runs an import-export business, filed her tax returns on a profit of Rs 80 lakh in September 2005.
But, a month later she received a notice from the Tax Department requesting to file her returns once again.
No sooner that she received the notice, threat calls started ringing.
Both Singh and Makheja are clueless about the origin of calls and don't know which gang is behind the threats.
But, they suspect that many officials of the Tax Department are behind this.
“Some CAs from the department are helping them and they are targeting us. Any normal person will not be able to speak to them at all,” Makheja says.
Makheja and Singh are just two of the many others whose return files have been misplaced.
Overall there are as many as 100 files of people whose annual income exceeds Rs 40 lac which have gone missing.Something that the investigating agencies may be hard pressed to look at.