NEW DELHI: According to statements made by officials on Sunday, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has initiated an investigation against three officials from the Income Tax department for allegedly facilitating fictitious refunds of TDS deducted for multiple assessees by misusing the system access of senior officers.
In response to a complaint lodged by the Joint Commissioner of Income Tax in Muzaffarnagar, the investigating agency issued a First Information Report (FIR) against three group C officials of the Income Tax department. These officials are accused of having successfully conned the department by allegedly misusing the RSA tokens of assessing officers in order to calculate and generate fictitious refunds of Tax Deducted at Source (TDS).
RSA tokens are one-of-a-kind solutions that automatically update a user’s password every sixty seconds. These tokens are time-synchronous and are designed to be secure.
According to them, as a result of the FIR, the agency had conducted searches at a number of different sites.
In conjunction with the investigation, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has implicated three officers from the Income Tax Department, including Abhay Kant, Saurabh Singh, and Rohit Kumar, as well as nine individuals who received the refunds.
The tax department has made allegations that officials misappropriated the RSA tokens of assessing officers in order to calculate and authenticate the generation of fictitious refunds payable to 11 assessees on the system. The officials allegedly did this in order to obtain refunds totaling more than 1.39 crore rupees between August 1, 2020 and August 25, 2021, when the fraud was discovered.
One of the assessing officers noticed the computation of refunds under section 154 of the I-T Act for assessees who did not belong to his range, which is when the fraud came to light, according to those who were speaking on the matter.
Orders are passed under this section whenever any rectification to any order or processing is required, either on the application of the assessee or by the assessing officer on its own when some mistake is to be corrected, which is apparent in records, it was alleged. These orders can be passed either on the application of the assessee or by the assessing officer on its own.
These refunds were reported to be on an outdated system known as AST (Assessment Information System), rather than ITBA (Income Tax business application), which is where the process has been relocated since 2016.
According to the allegations, “out of the entire sum syphoned off, roughly Rs 35 lakh was transferred back to government accounts by the accused officials as taxes against demand.” Additionally, “Rs 22 lakh was collected by assessing officers by way of coercive steps against the beneficiaries.”
“So far, a total recovery of Rs 57.31 lakh has been made, which may be attributed either to the staff members who participated in the fraud or to the assessing officials who attached the accounts of the assessees. The entire sum that is still owed, including any interest that may be owed, has been calculated to be 94.39 lakh rupees “the allegations made in the complaint