Investor Issues
Tata Motors fails to redress depositors’ tax grievance

Wrong entries on Form 26AS by Tata Motors deprives depositors of tax refund. Company and registrars ignore repeated complaints 

Remember the catchy slogan, 'Pay tax, karo relax'? Well, here is an instance that proves otherwise.

Charulata Vaswani is one among the many honest taxpayers in the country. And like many of them she has had the experience of a lifetime getting her tax refunds.

The stumbling block is the Form 26AS, a summary of all tax deductions against a PAN card, that most companies don't know about. The Income-Tax department requires a clearance against TDS (tax deducted at source) entries on such a form and it places the onus for this on the entity that deducts the tax amount. In the case of Ms Vaswani, the company conveniently shirked all responsibility.

After two frustratingly long years of complaining to Tata Motors, with whom her father and sister had a fixed deposit, the company responded to her queries only after Moneylife intervened. Still, the issue has not been resolved. Despite repeated appeals, the tax statements of her family members have several errors which have prevented them from claiming tax refunds.

Ms Vaswani's father and sister, who are NRIs, put a few lakhs of rupees in Tata Motors' fixed deposits through 'Link Intime', registrars and service providers, in Bhandup. Some time later, the Income-Tax department sent them Form 26AS, with a summary of all tax deductions against the PAN card. In order to claim any tax refund, all TDS entries must be marked 'F'. If, however, any entries are marked 'U' the taxpayer has to get the entity that has deducted the amount to rectify the challan, so that the entry is changed to an 'F', making it possible to claim the refund.
Ms Vaswani said that the Form 26AS for her father and sister had a 'U' against all TDS entries for Tata Motors. Consequently, they would have got about Rs35,000 less by way of tax refunds. Thus, began her ordeal. Call and emails she made to Link Intime from Delhi, were not answered. On one occasion, somebody who did take the call spoke rudely. Upset by the behaviour, Ms Vaswani wrote to Tata Motors directly. Sadly, the company also ignored here queries.

"My family members invested so much money with Tata Motors because we believed in the good name of the Tatas. If this is how they treat so-called 'valued NRI and HNI clients', I can't begin to imagine how they must be treating other investors," Ms Vaswani told Moneylife.

There were some unproductive communications with Link Intime. "They denied their mistake. They don't seem to have even heard about Form 26AS. They asked us to file the IT returns on the basis of the TDS certificate. But TIN-NSDL claims that the TDS certificate is not enough," Ms Vaswani said.

The NSDL reply makes it clear that the onus to make corrections is on the deductor. "It is for the concerned deductor to submit correct and complete TDS return. If the deductor has not filed/submitted or incorrectly filed/submitted the TDS return, then the Income-Tax Department looks into the matter."

After Moneylife took up the matter with Tata Motors, the company's representative Debasis Ray replied, saying, "We had taken up the said issue with Link Intime. We have taken corrective action and have filed revised TDS returns on 25.01.2011. We believe now you should be able to view credit of tax deducted in Form 26AS at the NSDL site."

Despite this assurance, some of the entries continued to be labelled 'U'. Vispi Patel, divisional manager of Tata Motors' secretarial segment, assured Ms Vaswani that all corrections had been done. He also said that the company had changed the FD Registrars from M/s Link Intime to M/s TSR Darashaw Limited. However, the errors remain.

Ms Vaswani says she is lucky to have got some assistance in this matter. "I don't know what other investors do. I suppose they just keep on suffering and probably end up facing some monetary loss also." She has suggested that the finance ministry do away with the Form 26AS procedure, or at least simplify it, to compel the deductor to make the corrections promptly. Is the government listening?



Nagesh KiniFCA

6 years ago

Send this to Ratan Tata who boasts of Tata Code of Conduct.
Wrong posting of any entry more particularly correct PAN is the basic duty of the one handling interest payment, matters little whether it is in-house Tata Central Share or any outsourced entity.
They should be penalized by calling for interest on delayed tax refund.This should be brought to the notice of both SEBI and CBDT.

Face-to-face confrontation between Ambani and Raja in 2G scam

Swan Telecom, in which Tiger Traders Private Limited has 90.13% and Reliance Telecom has 9.87% equity share capital, has been under the scanner over alleged diversion of funds to DMK-owned Kalaignar TV

New Delhi: It was face-to-face confrontation between Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) chairman Anil Ambani and former telecom minister A Raja at the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) headquarters over the issue of dual technology permit to Reliance Communications (RCom) and its alleged association with Swan Telecom, reports PTI.

The investigators repeatedly questioned the duo last evening over the equity issues of Swan Telecom for nearly an hour but both remained "non-cooperative" and stuck to their stand, sources privy to the investigations said today.

The questions pertained to whether RCom directly or through its subsidiary held more than 10% equity, a threshold for cross-holding in two services providers in the same circle, the sources said.

Swan Telecom, in which Tiger Traders Private Limited has 90.13% and Reliance Telecom has 9.87% equity share capital, has been under the scanner over alleged diversion of funds to DMK-owned Kalaignar Television.

Mr Ambani, 51, was called to the CBI headquarters yesterday for questioning by the agency in connection with the 2G spectrum scam.

DB Realty group managing director Shahid Usman Balwa, promoter of Swan telecom, is already in the CBI custody.

According to the CAG, four companies including Reliance Communications were provided CDMA-based mobile service under Unified Access Service licence.

Based on the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), use of dual technology was permitted on 17 October 2007 and RCom is alleged to have applied for the same even before the announcement of the policy.

RCom had complied with the requirements for permission to use dual technology on 19 October 2007 by depositing the non refundable entry fee of Rs1,645 crore for 20 service areas through Reliance Infocomm.

The CAG had said that acceptance of bank draft from Reliance Infocomm (third party) on behalf of Reliance Communications was not in order and showed the hurry in which the entry fee was deposited.

In a statement here, ADAG had yesterday said, "During the course of his weekly visit to New Delhi, Ambani met CBI officials to clarify ongoing issues relating to telecom matters for the years 2001 to 2010."

The ADAG statement said, "Neither Reliance Telecom nor RCom nor any Reliance ADAG individual, company or affiliate held even a single share in Swan Telecom at the time of grant of the 2G licence to them in January 2008, or at any time thereafter."


Food inflation will come down to single-digit: FM

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said that despite seasonal fluctuations in inflation figures, the overall inflation by the end of the fiscal would be in the range of 7%

New Delhi: Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee today expressed optimism of food inflation coming down to single-digit as the rate of price rise of essential kitchen items moderated significantly in the first week of February, reports PTI.

"...In quite some time food inflation will also be under single-digit," Mr Mukherjee told reporters here.

Driven by high vegetable prices, food inflation was in double-digits for the past two months and even crossed 18% in the week of 25th December.

"Now it is going down and I think WPI (wholesale price index) has also come down by two percentage points. So it is good sign...," Mr Mukherjee added.

Food inflation for the week ended 5th February touched a nine-week low at 11.05% from 13.07% in the previous week.

However, Mr Mukherjee cautioned that weekly and monthly fluctuations in inflation numbers "are always deceptive".

He further said that despite seasonal fluctuations in inflation figures, the overall inflation by the end of the fiscal would be in the range of 7%.

"I hope as I mentioned earlier, by March we able to reach overall inflation of 7%," he said.

The headline inflation measured by WPI has also moderated to 8.23% in January from 8.43% in the previous month.


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