Why park­ing black money is risky business

HT Estates - - NEWS -

Won­dered if the realty sec­tor is safe for park­ing black money? Think again, for more and more cases are com­ing to light of peo­ple los­ing ev­ery­thing in du­bi­ous deals. Tak­ing the le­gal route out does not work.

Atul Sinha (name changed) in­vested ₹ 3crore in cash for a as­sured re­turns scheme in a res­i­den­tial pro­ject. The developer, who Sinha met through a close friend, even gave him a writ­ten and signed ac­knowl­edg­ment slip for the in­vest­ment. A few months later, when the developer failed to pay him, Sinha protested but could not take any le­gal ac­tion be­cause it was dif­fi­cult for him to prove his own source of in­come. “I put pres­sure on the developer through some po­lice of­fi­cials who were my friends but that didn’t help. The developer said he had lost a lot of money in business and could not make pay­ments. I can’t take him to any court be­cause I will have to prove how I got the money,” says Sinha.

Ac­cord­ing to many real es­tate bro­kers, trans­act­ing in cash is risky business. In many land deals and apart­ment sales, peo­ple are duped be­cause they want to evade tax or du­ties and ac­cept or pay huge amounts in cash. “In one of the cases, fake notes were handed to a seller by a home­buyer and he couldn’t do any­thing. You can’t ex­pect le­gal help for an il­le­gal trans­ac­tion,” says a prop­erty dealer.

Ac­cord­ing to Neeraj Sinha, a Delhi-based charted ac­coun­tant, “It’s bet­ter for peo­ple to pay penalty and tax to the in­come tax depart­ment to get their money con­verted to white in­stead of in­vest­ing it in real es­tate.”

THINKSTOCK

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