The recent alleged tax evasion by Malayalam actors Amala Paul, Fahadh Faasil and Suresh Gopi, who registered their luxury cars in Puducherry, a union territory, in a bid to avoid taxes has turned the spotlight on other celebrities who have been suspected of tax evasion.
While Bollywood actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgn and Aishwarya Rai have been accused of stacking their money abroad (Panama) to evade taxes, South Indian actors are not too far behind.
Here‚Äôs a list of South Indian actors who have been accused of tax evasion in the past:
Ahead of his 2015 film Puli, Income Tax sleuths raided the Chennai residence of Tamil actor Vijay, popularly called Thalapathy. While the raid was conducted on suspicion of black money being pumped into the production of Puli, The Indian Express later reported that IT authorities had revealed that the actor had been partially evading tax for the last five years.
Nayanthara, known as the Lady Superstar of South India, was also accused of tax evasion in the co-ordinated raids by IT officials. Officials raided the residences of actors Vijay, Nayanthara, Samantha, and Kollywood producers Shibu Thameens, Kalaipuli S Thanu and P T Selva Kumar. The raids on the residence and properties of actors Vijay, Nayanthara and Samantha revealed tax evasion to the tune of Rs 25 crore. Authorities also recovered Rs 2 crore in cash and gold worth another Rs 2 crore, reported The Hindu.
Samantha Ruth Prabhu
As already mentioned, actor Samantha, who has acted in numerous Tamil and Telugu films, was part of the raids by IT officials and accused of evading tax.
Mohanlal and Mammootty
The premises of Malayalam superstars in Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu were raided by IT officials in 2011 after they were suspected of amassing wealth disproportionate to their income. But it was reported that the officials did not recover cash or gold nor found any illegal transactions during the raid.
Popular website rediff.com reported that the actors admitted to possessing wealth beyond what they accounted for. It further says that the actors promised to settle their dues immediately and carry out audits carefully in the future.
Malayalam star Dileep, who now stands accused of the abduction and molestation of an actor as an act of vengeance, was in 2013 found to have evaded tax payment after a raid of his home and offices by central excise and service tax officials.
In a statement, the officials said that the actor took only a small portion of his remuneration in cash or cheque, and channelised the rest through distribution of his films to evade tax.
Nagarjuna, Ravi Teja and Anushka
Telugu actors Nagarjuna, Ravi Teja and Anushka Shetty‚Äôs residence and offices were raided in 2011 by Income Tax officials after it was reported that they bought huge tracts of land in Vizag.
While the officials didn‚Äôt recover any cash in the raid, a verification of their documents showed that these popular stars were purchasing land with unregistered money or ‚Äėhand money‚Äô prompting a raid.
Telugu actor Jr Ntr was accused of not paying service tax for his 2016 released film Nannaku Premaatho. The Comptroller Audit General (CAG) report said that the actor has not paid service tax as shown in the records. However, later the actor through a press release stated, ‚ÄúI have acted in the film in 2015 which was made in the UK by the producer. I was advised by legal and tax experts that any service (in this case as an actor) rendered outside India for which payment is received in foreign exchange is not taxable for service tax in India. Accordingly, I have not collected the service tax from the producer of Nannaku Prematho.‚ÄĚ
Sarathkumar and Radhika
IT officials raided the residence of actor couple Sarath Kumar-Radhika and their Radaan Media Works office in April this year during the RK Nagar bye poll, after Sarath Kumar announced his support to TTV Dinakaran from the AIADMK Sasikala camp.
Sarath Kumar is also a politician, heading the All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi.