Unicorn Infra.Market under I-T lens for alleged evasion – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: Infra.Market, an online platform for construction materials, is under the scanner of the tax department for alleged evasion.
While the authorities did not name the company, a statement issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said that on March 9, search and seizure operations were conducted on a Pune- and Thane-based unicorn, primarily engaged in the business of wholesale and retail of construction material. In all, 23 premises across Maharashtra, Karnataka, UP and Andhra Pradesh, were searched.
The tax department also accused the group of “huge foreign funding” via Mauritius by issuing shares at exorbitantly high premiums. Tax authorities have raised similar concerns with several startups, which have often been rebutted by the companies.
“A large number of incriminating evidence in the form of hard copy documents and digital data have been found and seized during the search operations. These evidences revealed that the group has booked bogus purchases, made huge unaccounted cash expenditure and obtained accommodation entries, aggregating to the tune of over Rs 400 crore,” the statement said.
Directors of the group were confronted with the evidence and they allegedly admitted to the modus operandi “under oath” and disclosed additional income of over Rs 224 crore in various assessment years, and consequently offered to pay their due tax liability, the I-T (income tax) department said.
When contacted by TOI, an Infra.Market spokesperson said, “According to our company policy, we ensure adherence to the applicable tax laws at all times. We continue to work with the department to solve all their queries related to any transaction. Since the investigation is still ongoing, we will wait for the final report to comment further.” The developments may derail the Tiger Global-backed startup’s plans to raise fresh funds. Valued at around $2.5 billion (part of the unicorn club), Infra.Market, founded in 2016, has claimed to be one of India’s fastest growing startups.



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