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CBDT rebuts TMC, says no I-T notice to Durga Puja Committees in Kolkata

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Tuesday refuted the Trinamool Congress’ (TMC) allegations that the BJP-led Central government was sending income-tax (I-T) notices to the Durga Puja committees in Kolkata recently and said no such notices have been issued in 2019.

“It is unequivocally stated that the said reports (of sending I-T notices) are factually incorrect and are strongly denied. It is a fact that no notice was issued to the Durga Puja Committee Forum by the Department during this year,” the apex body of I-T department said in a statement.

TMC leader and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday tweeted that the I-T department had issued notices to many committees who organise Durga pujos, asking them to pay taxes. In a series of tweets she said, “We protest and demand ‘no taxation on Durga pujo and Durga pujo committees’ … The Trinamool Congress Banga Janani Wing will sit on dharna on Tuesday…”. She asked organisers, participants and all people who love “Bangla” to join the protest.

The CBDT statement, however, said that the I-T department had issued notices to about 30 committees in December 2018 seeking details of tax deducted at source (TDS) on payments they had made to contractors and event managers, whose incomes are taxable.

“This was part of an exercise carried out by the TDS wing of the department to ensure that the contractors and event managers pay their due taxes in time. Many of the committees complied and furnished evidence of tax deducted at source as well as deposit of the same into the government account,” the statement said.

Based on the feedback from several committees that they should be educated about the TDS provisions “one such outreach programme was organised on the July 16, 2019 for the Durga Puja Committees at their own request,” it said. It said that about eight members attended the outreach programme “voluntarily” and their doubts pertaining to TDS provisions were clarified.

“It is reiterated that the aforesaid exercise is in no manner whatsoever against the Puja Committees, but has been undertaken to ensure that the contractors and event managers pay their due taxes correctly within the stipulated time,” the CBDT said.

First Published:
Aug 13, 2019 19:16 IST

Source: HindustanTimes