IT Identifies 52 Docs Evading Tax In Collusion With Hospitals

IT Identifies 52 Docs Evading Tax In Collusion With Hospitals

Indore, 8 March 2019: In a striking revelation, income tax sleuths have identified 52 doctors, who had been forcing patients to pay a portion of their fees in cash, thereby evading tax liabilities.


The modus operandi of the doctors came to fore during a survey carried out by the income tax department on Shankutala Devi Hospital and Research Centre headed by Dr Anil Vijayvargiya, who is also president of city chapter of Indian Medical Association (IMA), deputy commissioner income tax Saagar Shrivastava said.


“Visiting consulting doctors, who referred patients to the hospital, gave strict directions to the hospital management to include only a small portion of their actual fees in the bill provided to the patient,” he said adding they directed the hospital to collect their fees separately in cash from the patient, and deliver it to them in sealed envelopes later.


Under duress, even the patients comply with wishes of the doctors to pay their portion of fees in cash separately to the hospital, for which they do not get a bill.


“A list of 52 leading doctors of Indore who indulge in this practice in collusion with the hospital was prepared by the I-T officials,” Shrisvatava said.


Corroborative evidence such as registers containing cash paid to doctors, cash amount mentioned separately in kaccha receipts along with name of the doctor tagged to the proper bill and even envelopes containing the cash along with the name of the doctor were found during the survey, he said.


“The hospital management also confided to this malpractice, and accepted having instructed its staff to destroy all such records for older years once payments were delivered to the doctors,” the IT officer said.


Using the above modus operandi, scores of doctors have been wilfully evading tax for years and also exploiting innocent patients into paying a higher amount of fees in cash.


Department officials will share the names of doctors with their respective assessing officers for detailed inquiry and quantification of undisclosed income amassed over years, which may lead to their cases being reopened for the past 6 years under the IT Act.


Shrivastava said the I-T team found that hospital also suppressed its true income, such as debiting bogus salary expense to non-existent employees and pathology receipts. It also found unaccounted payments made in cash for purchase of property.


Dr Anil Vijayvargiya told TOI that the I-T team has been provided necessary documents to show the transactions carried out by the hospital.


On cash payments to doctors, he said, “Patients sometimes pay doctors’ fees in cash. The same was forwarded to the doctors in envelopes. We have given documentary evidence of transactions demanded by the income tax team.”ET Healthworld