Why I-T returns of Pawar, Jindal and Gandhi are exempted from RTI?

Income Tax authorities have denied information about I-T returns of 22 MPs, including Sharad Pawar, Naveen Jindal, Maneka Gandhi, Sachin Pilot, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Beni Prasad Verma, Ajit Singh and Lalu Prasad Yadav and 20 MLAs. After suspending the hearing 27 times for over three years, the CIC has given the MPs and MLAs three weeks to file their replies


It often takes just one election victory of five years—for Members of the Parliament and Legislative Assemblies to get stinking rich, what with their wealth increasing a 1,000 times, in some cases.
 

According to a research carried out by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), the Lok Sabha MPs (2004-2009) have had an average increase in assets to the tune of 289% or Rs2.9 crore per MP within five years.
 

As for the MPs from the Rajya Sabha, BJP has 14 out of 16 candidates who are crorepatis, followed by Congress with 12 crorepati candidates out of 15 candidates. “There is also the issue of conflict of interest,” says Anil Bairwal of ADR. “58% of the Rajya Sabha members are ‘crorepatis’ with flourishing professional practices, shareholding in media, infrastructure, hospitality besides paid consultancy and other engagements,” he adds.
 

Thus, Bairwal says, “Going by the swelling in the pouches of our MPs and MLAs in the 2009 elections, it is extremely desirable that their I-T returns are made public. The recent increase in the assets of Members of Parliament (MPs) portrays some figures which appear lopsided and doubtful. There are parliamentarians who have increased their assets more than one thousand times over while in Parliament. Furthermore, what is the foundation of this breeding money among the political parties, nobody knows.”
 

Bairwal has filled innumerable RTI applications in the relevant Income Tax offices of the 22 MPs and 20 MLAs, which he zeroed on, considering the increase in their assets between 2004 and 2009.  His RTIs, which were filed in 2010 were stonewalled by all the respective Public Information Officers and Appellate Authorities. In fact, his second appeal with the Central Information Commission (CIC) was suspended 27 times until it was finally heard on 16 April 2013, a good three years later. Once again, three more weeks have been given to reply.
 

The prominent names in the list of 22 MPs and 20 MLAs whose I-T returns were asked for under RTI are Sharad Pawar, Naveen Jindal, Maneka Gandhi, Sachin Pilot, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Beni Prasad Verma, Ajit Singh and Lalu Prasad Yadav.

Bairwal has asked for the following information in his RTI application:
 

1. Whether the MPs/MLAs who fall in your jurisdiction have filed their I-T returns for all the five years (2004-2009)
 

2. Please provide the years for which these MPs have not filed their returns
 

3. Please provide details of the -IT return & assessment orders for all the years for which they have filed.
 

Apart from the RTI application, Bairwal also separately requested all Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha MPs to disclose their I-T returns in larger public interest. Says Bairwal, “Some of these MPs sent us their I-T Returns and insisted that we make them public on our website whereas others uploaded them on their own website. We also came across some MPs and MLAs who have already submitted their I-T returns along with the respective chief minister's office and the prime minister's office.’’ In all, 28 of them including Anu Aga and Ambika Soni have revealed their I-T returns – (see box below).
 

As per the press release issued by ADR on 16 April 2013 “Of the 20 MPs whose I-T returns were asked for under RTI, the details of only three MPs—Mr Baju Ban Ryan MP from Tripura East constituency), Mr Shafiqur Rahman Barq (MP from Sambhal constituency of Uttar Pradesh) and Ms Usha Verma (MP from Hardoi constituency of Uttar Pradesh) were made available by the Public Information Officers (PIO). The I-T returns of others MPs were denied under various sections, like 8(1)(j), 8(1)(d), 11(1) and 11(3) of the RTI Act. TheRTIs of seven MPs were transferred but lost in transit hence no information was available.”
 

At the CIC hearing, representatives of 10 out of 20 MPs were present. The public information officers who denied the information stating lack of larger public interest and the representatives of MPs/ MLAs were invited for the hearing. The bench comprised Information Commissoners (IC) Mr ML Sharma, Ms Annapurna Dixit and Mr Rajiv Mathur.
 

The three CICs repeatedly questioned the representatives of the MPs as to how disclosing of their I-T returns was not in larger public interest. They repeatedly referred to the Supreme Court judgment which made declarations of assets and other details mandatory at thetime of contesting elections.. However, no arguments were put forth by the Public information Officers of the I-T department who had initially denied providing the information stating lack of public interest, states the press statement of ADR.
 

Mr Bairwal argued that there is overriding public interest in I-T returns of the MPs and that most of the requested information was already in public domain as the total income filed in the latest I-T returns of all candidates have to be provided in their affidavits along with their nomination papers to the Election Commission of India (ECI).
 

Mr Bairwal stated during the argument at the CIC that, “the Supreme Court has deliberated in detail on this issue while directing the ECI to collect and make public the information on assets of the contesting candidates at the time of elections through affidavits. The Supreme Court of India had specifically noted through its decision on 13 March 2003 (Writ Petition No. 490/509/515 of 2002) that asking for asset details of the parliamentarians/legislatures does not invade the privacy of the individual.”
 

Amongst the arguments put forth by representatives of MPs, Mr Ajith Singh’s senior advocate argued “that if the MPs are considered public servants, the I-T returns of every public servant should be requested for; lawyers of Mr Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia argued that any tax payer serves larger public interest by paying tax hence their personal information cannot be made available in the public domain; the representative of Kumari Selja when asked if he would be willing to declare his/his client’s I-T returns, stated that “rule of privacy will prevail” and “I am not obliged under law to declare my I-T returns in the public domain”.
 

The attendees included lawyers, chartered accountants and representatives of Mr Uday Singh, Ms Maneka Gandhi, Mr Sachin Pilot, Mr Dushyant Singh, Kumari Selja, Mr Beni Prasad Verma, Mr Ajith Singh, Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav and Mr T R Baalu.
 

The CIC has given three weeks’ time for the representatives of the MPs to provide a copy of their written submissions after which it will give its decision.
 

Says Mr Bairwal, “Tax returns of Parliamentarians are voluntarily being disclosed in countries like the US and UK. Presidential tax returns in the United States are available online. Like all other citizens, US presidents also enjoy the protection of their privacy, but they chose to release their tax returns publicly. Tax returns of Barack Obama, George W Bush and others are available online. (www.Presidentsusa.net). Their tax returns are open for public scrutiny and such sort of a transparency is truly commendable. Our parliamentarians should also do likewise as this will underline the faith of the citizens in the representatives chosen by them…”
 

State Average asset in 2007(Rs) Average asset in 2012(Rs)

Percentage

Goa 2.91 crore 7.65 crore 163%
Punjab 5.73 crore 9.17 crore 60%
Uttar Pradesh 98.05 lakh 3.10 crore 217%
Uttaranchal 83 lakh 2 crore 177%
Manipur 20 lakh 1 crore 492%
 
 

The timeline of events for MP I-T returns case

1. 22 February 2010: An RTI was filed with the respective I-T departments to retrieve I-T Returns of 20 MPs with exponential growth in assets between two elections.
2. 6 May 2010: First Appeal with I-T department for follow up on information denied under Sections 8(1)(j), 8(1)(e) and 8(1)(d) of the RTI Act
3. 20 August 2010: Second Appeal with Central Information Commission.
4. 20 April 2012: Notice for the first hearing at CIC sent to concerned parties.
5. 3 May 2012: First hearing with the CIC takes place for MP Uday Singh and MP Dushyant Singh
6. 8 November 2012: Notice for second hearing of CIC was sent to concerned parties in the case.
7. 22 November 2012: Second hearing at CIC takes place. Press Release for this CIC hearing to make MP I-T Returns public.
8. 22 November 2013: Submission No. I filed with the CIC on the day of this hearing.
9. 7 March 2013: Notice for the hearing of the full bench of CIC sent to concerned parties.
10. 4 April 2013: Submission No. II filed with the CIC based on voluntary disclosure by MPs prior to the full bench hearing.
11. 12 April 2013: Larger Bench of CIC to hear the case on making income tax returns of MPs public.
12. 16 April 2013: Hearing with the larger bench at CIC takes place.
 

 

Those who voluntarily put their Income Tax returns in the public domain
S No Name State Constituency Party MP/MLA ITR
1 Neeraj Shekhar UP Ballia SP MP LS ITR
2 Sadashiv Dadoba Mandlik Maharashtra Kolhapur IND MP LS ITR
3 Abhijit Mukherjee West Bengal Jangipur INC MP LS ITR
4 Mirza Mehboob Beg J&K Anantnag J&K National Conference MP LS ITR
5 Bijoy Krishna Handique Assam Jorhat INC MP LS ITR
6 Arnavaz Rohinton Aga Maharashtra NIL Nominated MP RS ITR
7 Raju Anna Shetty Maharashtra Hatkanangle Swabhimani Paksha MP LS ITR
8 Dr Ajoy Kumar Jharkhand Jamshedpur JVM MP LS ITR
9 Mandagadde Rama Jois Karnataka Karnataka BJP MP RS ITR
10 Dinesh Trivedi West Bengal Barrackpur AITC MP LS ITR
11 Vilas Baburao Muttemwar Maharashtra Nagpur INC MP LS ITR
12 Baishnab Charan Parida Orissa Orissa BJD MP RS ITR
13 Tathagata Satpathy Orissa Dhenkanal BJD MP LS ITR
14 Baju Ban Riyan Tripura Tripura East CPI(M) MP LS ITR
15 Sudip Bandyopadhyay West Bengal Kolkata Utter AITC MP LS ITR
16 Subodh Kant Sahay Jharkhand Ranchi INC MP LS ITR
17 Pratik Prakashbapu Patil Maharashtra Sangli INC MP LS ITR
18 Mahadeo Singh Khandela Rajasthan Sikar INC MP LS ITR
19 Ajay Maken Delhi New Delhi INC MP LS ITR
20 AmbikaSoni Punjab Punjab INC MP RS ITR
21 Sadanand Singh Bihar Kahalgaon INC MLA ITR
22 Pramod Kumar Bihar Motihari BJP MLA ITR
23 Subodh Roy Bihar Sultanganj JDU MLA ITR
24 Virendra Beniwal Rajasthan Lunkaransar INC MLA ITR
25 Rajkumar Sharma Rajasthan Nawalgarh INC (contested on BSP ticket) MLA ITR
26 Rajendra Pareek Rajasthan Sikar INC MLA ITR
27 Murari Lal Meena Rajasthan Dasua INC (contested on BSP ticket) MLA ITR
28 Hema Ram Choudhry Rajasthan Gudamalani INC MLA ITR
             


(Vinita Deshmukh is the consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”.)

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COMMENTS

SuchindranathAiyerS

4 years ago

Nothing short of a Guillotine at every street corner will purge India of the burden of criminal rulers.

CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

6 years ago

These politicians have made everybody corrupt, go to the markets see the roads occupied by them illegally, who is there to stop them, they say we pay weekly and daily payoffs to the Depts. will anybody correct them? No, because corruption has reached every nook and corner-Actually in the lifeline of the system, without incurring mass displeasure it cannot be corrected is What I feel? Request all to please answer might be on the other side of the fence, but it hardly matters at least views will be known.

sohan modak

6 years ago

How does EC know that these super rich politicians are actually filing IT returns that reflect their true assets and earnings? For example, if Pawar wields clout in, say, sugar industry, BCCI or Educational institutes, there must be a way to monetize these and shown as such in the returns. Do they? Does IT dept know how to monetize? Does EC know how and where to draw a line?

REPLY

CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

In Reply to sohan modak 6 years ago

Do you know by chance how much do these I TAX/VAT OFFICERS/EXCISE-SERVICE TAX DEPT OR people charge a Common Business man on completion of case, and who do these business man charge i.e. AAM AADMI so ultimately who is paying for the luxuries of these so called HIGH CLASS OFFICERS.

CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

In Reply to sohan modak 6 years ago

Their wealth is anybody's guess? Monetizing is virtually impossible.

manoharlalsharma

6 years ago

Super POLITICAL-POWER never Keep the A/C'S with them just findout thire CAS.

REPLY

CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

In Reply to manoharlalsharma 6 years ago

No doubt politicians have made them untouchables vide enormous accumulation of wealth. By chance I am also a CA, but misguiding anybody is impossible.

nagesh kini

In Reply to CA PRADEEP AGARWAL 6 years ago

Yes,Mr. Agarwal, we see that you are a CA by the first two letters before your name.
By the way what is the dividing line between "tax planning" and tax evasion?
Question from another CA!

CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

In Reply to nagesh kini 6 years ago

The same as tax avoidance and tax evasion, tax evasion is a crime but tax avoidance is a skillful planning of resources and its utilization(but is not a crime).

nagesh kini

In Reply to CA PRADEEP AGARWAL 6 years ago

You are cutting the distinction too fine!
The so-called 'skilled planning' at times enters the domain of illegality.
Our fake NRIs of > 182 days stay outside India are a classic example of 'planning' which is in fact criminal scheming!
The high flying PIOs in the US thought that not including their interest income from Indian banks will go unnoticed by Uncle Sam. All this based on strong professional 'tax planning' advice!

CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

In Reply to nagesh kini 6 years ago

Actually, if you look at it that way, Yes, the Indian Tech have to pay tax from income earned abroad, but, they are avoiding the same due to deft planning and law by their side, further Interest on PIO is taxable @ 20% and can only be refunded/adjusted if return is filed in India by them or their Rep. Every country has a rule that all income is taxable in the original country, but excludes income earned outside the country.
Regarding fake NRI it is Law matter and IT Dept. should check it thoroughly before approving as Non Taxable.
Actually professionals either CA's/LLB are meant to give professional tax planning advise to the best of their clients whoever they are.

CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

In Reply to nagesh kini 6 years ago

Further our Institute had got an amendment passed that CA's will write CA before their name as Doctors write Dr. so you will find CA appearing before my name.

CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

6 years ago

Feel every defaulter should be sent a copy with comments by MLF and a copy to PM/Leader of Opposition in both houses, INC President/BJP President/SP President/BSP and JD President etc. alongwith the list showing IT defaulters/i.e. not filing returns on IT website, plus banning them from polls in future(not contesting)

CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

6 years ago

Those whose assets have arisen abnormally should be subject to JPC/seperate ITax Dept. formed through statute and returns to be accepted via Chairman/Leader of LS/RS.

CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

6 years ago

The filing of return should be compulsory to all n sundry, whosoever it might be, high and mighty and the higher the person the more he should be subject to scruitny, but in our country it is vice versa, even the guardians of law are there to protect-Bhai Bhatija vad

ashwin bahl

6 years ago

We have one neta representing Congress in Mumbai who had 2 or more Pan Cards and he did not know about it,nor did he know how much property he and his wife owned or his son did and then what is the outcome of this unaccounted wealth case ? Sad state of affairs!

REPLY

nagesh kini

In Reply to ashwin bahl 6 years ago

another neta maintains that his wife's mother and sister are not relations, he believes they are in-laws. he always believes that 'law has to take its own course'.

CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

In Reply to nagesh kini 6 years ago

actually these netas have made mockery of the law and sorry to say our janta blindly following them or can say MONEYPOWER

nagesh kini

In Reply to ashwin bahl 6 years ago

another neta maintains that his wife's mother and sister are not relations, he believes they are in-laws. he always believes that 'law has to take its own course'.

CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

In Reply to ashwin bahl 6 years ago

This is happening everywhere take leaders of BSP/SP/Congress/BJP

mumbaiwadapav

6 years ago

Great article: But how can our many great leaders (Thanks GOD But not all) file IT return properly, whatever they earn more than 97% they earn from wrong means. So they know that 97% of tax already they are evading and if it doesn't affect country and it population so why again to bother our great country and its population by filling IT return for remaining 3%. As simple as that, see how much our great leaders care.

REPLY

nagesh kini

In Reply to mumbaiwadapav 6 years ago

Mumbaiwadapav, you write about our great leaders filing returns properly. What about the veteran neta who completely and conveniently "forgetting" to file returns for ten long years and yet got away? And the house that he occupied in Lutyen's Delhi is now sought to be converted into a memorial at other taxpayers' cost!

CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

In Reply to nagesh kini 6 years ago

SO WHO IS MAKING THE ISSUE BY TAKING OUT DHARNAS AND WILL PEOPLE COME IN SUPPORT?

sohan modak

6 years ago

I wonder if a PIL on this issue would be admissible.

REPLY

CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

In Reply to sohan modak 6 years ago

Can try one?

Arun Mehta

6 years ago

One wonders the futility of expecting the politicians to any way shamed or humiliated by their not being too honest with their IT returns.Lots of factors are involved,his/her tax management style,the respective Auditor and finally the politicians 'halo' effect on the concerned IT Officer.The fact that a very very Rich IT declarant with the leading Dalit party ticket lost in Delhi in last elections,speaks a lot to say voters are not influenced by the honesty or otherwise of the IT related data.There are 'other' factors.

Deepak Dubey

6 years ago

are we 1,241,491,960 Indian Citizen fool, why is there such discrimination between certain people ?

we have made them MLA, MP we have right to know what their current assets is ? have their multiplied their income and funds misusing their power.

we want RTI to be applicable to those MP and MLA

IF NOT CHANGE THE LAW AND CHANGE THE RULES.

We all are Indian, RULES and LAW should be same for everyone

REPLY

nagesh kini

In Reply to Deepak Dubey 6 years ago

The IT returns are inaccessible because they are more equal than others read George Orwell's "Animal Farm" and you will know why and how!

Deepak Dubey

In Reply to nagesh kini 6 years ago

very true, here all are in race to become leader but not a good human being !!!

their basic is not clear !!!

vrajesh s

6 years ago

goood article we must fight for more transperency

sohan modak

6 years ago

Great revelation, Vinita. When examining the personal details of MPs in 2009, turned out most have either filed wrong, incomplete or no information. In cases like Pawar, Praful Patel, Vija Mallya, Jaiswal, Ms Sule, and those playing musical chairs at ministrys of commers, Textiles, Telecom, Transportation, Agriculture, etc must have reaped more than 600% gains, i.e. if one can find the truth hidden behind layers of Trusts, Companies and offshore holdings in their own names or those of their relatives.

sohan modak

6 years ago

Great revelation, Vinita. When examining the personal details of MPs in 2009, turned out most have either filed wrong, incomplete or no information. In cases like Pawar, Praful Patel, Vija Mallya, Jaiswal, Ms Sule, and those playing musical chairs at ministrys of commers, Textiles, Telecom, Transportation, Agriculture, etc must have reaped more than 600% gains, i.e. if one can find the truth hidden behind layers of Trusts, Companies and offshore holdings in their own names or those of their relatives.

TDS not accounted for by I-T dept? Delhi HC order provides some succour

The Delhi High Court, while giving its judgement on the problems encountered by the public in the matter of assessment of tax, said, “Rejection of TDS or failure to get credit for TDS puts the tax payer through needless harassment, inconvenience and costs. The problem, being systematic and institutional, has to be addressed on a general scale”

One more financial year has just come to an end and with that the job of collecting all income certificates, TDS certificates, etc has just begun to enable us to file our income tax (I-T) returns before the end of July 2013. Tax deducted at Source, or TDS for short, has been a pain in the neck for all middle class assesses and despite repeated representations, the government has not agreed to do away with the TDS, particularly in respect of bank deposits.
 

As per the amendment to the Finance Act last year senior citizens are not required to pay any advance tax before the close of the year, but need to pay appropriate tax, if liable, before filing the tax return. But this is only a half-hearted measure, as the government has not waived TDS even for senior citizens even though they are not required to pay advance tax, thereby putting them into great inconvenience.
 

Tax raised is fine but what about accountability in spending it?
 

Problems encountered by tax paying public:
 

Recently, the Federation of Tax Practitioners had filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court seeking remedies for some of the following problems encountered by the public in the matter of assessment of tax.
 

1. While banks are prompt in deducting tax while paying interest, they do not bother to file TDS returns promptly due to which the tax deducted by them is not reflected in the Form AS 26 of the individual tax payer appearing in the Income Tax website, consequent to which the tax department sends notices to assessees demanding payment of tax.
 

2. Even if the TDS return is filed by banks, many a times, it is wrongly filed resulting in Income Tax Officers (ITOs) refusing to give appropriate credit to assessees for the tax paid by them, despite filing record of tax payments.
 

3. The Central Processing Unit (CPU) of the Income Tax department at Bangalore has, in respect of those assessees who have filed returns on-line, started issuing notices of late to assessees on the basis of wrong entries made in the income tax website showing tax due in respect of earlier years, and asking them to get the same rectified through their ITO, if it is not due from them. This is causing avoidable harassment to all those assessees who have no dues outstanding of earlier years and have a clean record of tax payment.
 

4. Even in such cases, when the assessees seek rectification of tax dues wrongly shown under their name, the ITOs do not respond promptly to such requests resulting in the CPU unilaterally adjusting the refund due for the current year to the non-existing dues shown as outstanding for earlier years, depriving the assesses the rightful refund due to them. 
 

Judgment of the Delhi High Court providing succour to tax payers:
 

Surprisingly the tax authorities have admitted to the Delhi High Court that the data uploaded in their website and relied upon by their Central Processing Unit has errors and mistakes. According to this data a sum of Rs2.33 lakh crore was due and payable as past arrears (payable before 31 March 2010) by the taxpayers.
 

The high court in its judgment dated 14 March 2013, observed as under: 
 

 “The magnitude and number of taxpayers adversely affected can be appreciated from the past arrears figure of Rs2.33 lakh crore, which the tax authorities accept may not be correct,” states the Delhi HC order.

“This effectively means that 23 lakh taxpayers were denied refund or have been refused full refund on account of past arrears,” observes the Delhi HC order.”
 

Should banks pay interest on current accounts as well?
 

The court further said, “Rejection of TDS or failure to get credit for TDS which has been deducted and paid hurts the tax payer and puts him through needless harassment, inconvenience and costs. The problem, being systematic and institutional, has to be addressed on a general scale.”
 

The court has, therefore, in its judgment has given directions to the tax authorities to ensure compliance of the following instructions for the benefit of the public:

  1. Dispose off rectification applications filed by taxpayers regarding non credit of TDS expeditiously. (a separate register for such applications be kept)                             
  2.  Do not adjust refunds against past outstanding demands without prior intimation to the taxpayers.  
  3. If refunds have been suo-moto adjusted, transfer the matter to the concerned tax officer for remedial action in a time bound manner.
  4. Pay interest on delayed refunds where the taxpayer is not at fault
  5. If demand orders for past arrears (for the period prior to 31 March 2010) were not properly communicated to taxpayers, they will be treated as invalid, unless the tax authorities can prove otherwise 
  6. Communicate with tax deductors in case of mistakes made by them in uploading TDS details and get it rectified 
  7. Give the benefit of TDS when taxpayers furnish evidence, even if the tax deductor has made mistakes in uploading details.

If a tax payer faces any of the problems mentioned above, it is advisable to take up the matter with the jurisdictional income tax officer referring to this judgment of the Delhi High Court and seek redress if you find that the tax department is at fault and require remedial action. 

 

 

Other stories by Gurpur
 

(The author is a banking analyst and he writes for Moneylife under the pen-name ‘Gurpur’)

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COMMENTS

S BHASKARA NARAYANA

6 years ago

I too was affected by the IT dept's CPC, B'lore wing. They have not relied upon the form 16 provided by my employer. The Assessing Officer raised demand notice on me alone to my e-mail address, leaving my colleagues, since there is no credit in 26AS for the last quarter.

Even my employer came to my risk.
Can I ask the IT assessing officer to seek my employer, who issued the Form 16 duly verified.---ABXPS0727J

Navin

6 years ago

I'm facing a similar problem. For a particular Financial year i was supposed to receive a Refund and this i did. However, in the CPC data they showed a demand and adjusted this demand through the refund amount which i was supposed to get in the subsequent years. Had been visiting the local I.tax office at Patna but no result.

REPLY

Gurpur

In Reply to Navin 6 years ago

Mr. Navin, you may write a letter to the Income Tax Officer of your jurisdiction bringing to his notice the mistake committed by CPC in adjusting the refund due to you to the fictitious demand shown in their website and asking for setting right the records to enable you to get back the refund due to you. You can also quote this judgement of the Delhi High Court and seek immediate redressal of your grievance.

If you do not get a proper reply from the ITO within a month, you may approach the Commissioner of income Tax (Grievance Cell) at Patna itself and take up this matter with him for redressal. You may also specify the Delhi High Court order and seek immediate release of refund due to you.
If you do not get any positive response from the Commissioner's office within a month, the next course will be to approach the Income Tax Ombudsman of Patna, the details of which are available on the website of Income Tax dept.Govt. of India.

Kindly proceed as above and I am sure you will succeed in your efforts.
Gurpur.

Gurpur

In Reply to Navin 6 years ago

Mr. Navin, you may write a letter to the Income Tax Officer of your jurisdiction bringing to his notice the mistake committed by CPC in adjusting the refund due to you to the fictitious demand shown in their website and asking for setting right the records to enable you to get back the refund due to you. You can also quote this judgement of the Delhi High Court and seek immediate redressal of your grievance.

If you do not get a proper reply from the ITO within a month, you may approach the Commissioner of income Tax (Grievance Cell) at Patna itself and take up this matter with him for redressal. You may also specify the Delhi High Court order and seek immediate release of refund due to you.
If you do not get any positive response from the Commissioner's office within a month, the next course will be to approach the Income Tax Ombudsman of Patna, the details of which are available on the website of Income Tax dept.Govt. of India.

Kindly proceed as above and I am sure you will succeed in your efforts.
Gurpur.

TIHARwale

6 years ago

Communicate with tax deductors in case of mistakes made by them in uploading TDS details and get it rectified.

this itself would ensure IT returns are assed without difficulty. another thing which calls for attention is if Tax Payer has to file returns by 31 July, TDS should file the details by 15 May and AS26 should be available by 30 June so that Tax payers can make self assessment by 10 July and returns can be filed by 31July

SuchindranathAiyerS

6 years ago

There will be no real relief unless the erring parties are promptly penalized for the benefit of those who suffer. This is just "work in progress" for the Quota-Corruption Raj.

PRABHAT

6 years ago

THE JUDGEMENT IS HIGHLY APPRECIABLE . A TAX PAYER IS NOT CONCERNED WITH TDS RECONCILIATION, IF HE IS HOLDING CERTIFICATE FOR THE TAX PAID / DEPOSITED . IN CASE OF ANY MISMATCH , I TAX DEPTT. SHOULD ASK FOR THAT BEFORE COMPLETING ASSESSMENT . BUT DEPTT. IS INTERESTED TO CREATE PANIC FOR THEIR CONVENIENCE .

A LARGE NUMBER OF TAX PAYERS ARE AFFECTED .

VIKAS SIVARAMAN

6 years ago

It's about time the TaxPayer took a stand. Why pay tax when the processing of tax details and dues are so tedious and so flawed? After all it is hard earned money that the govt - by law - says is due from the taxpayer but then we all know how much of that money getts to where it should go. Look at the misuse and criminal malpractice in the NREGA. IT IS NOW APPARENT THAT ALMOST HALF THE ALLOCATED FUNDS ARE BEING SIPHONED OFF. So why pay taxes? To a Govt that is culpable and incapable of protecting that money and ensuring it reaches where it should? STOP PAYING TAXES TILL GOVERNANCE ENSURES THAT OUR HARD EARNED MONEY IS CORRECTLY AND SAFELY DEPLOYED TO THE LAST PAISA is my recommendation. I'm seriously considering this option. Should not you too?? Think.......

Differentiating fake NRIs from the real ones

By ushering the end of the special status, the normally resident Indians, masquerading as pseudo NRIs should be stopped from holding accounts in tax havens

Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has just  put out an exposé on international money laundering,  with the names of as many as India’s 612 top industrialists, professionals, politicians (including two MPs) and others. At a subsequent news conference finance minister P Chidambaram said: “Yes. We have taken note of the names and inquiries have been put in motion in respect of the names that have been exposed.”

 

News reports also mention that among the names listed are some NRIs who make use of tax havens while others have denied having accounts abroad.  

 

Some overly rich NRIs, included in the listing, have been found to grossly abuse the special tax and foreign exchange status granted under Indian statutes. It is this misuse that needs to be curbed effectively by revisiting the facilities, more particularly in the light of the currently prevailing favourable circumstances in India that justify the changes.

 

It needs to be pointed out here that the term “Non-resident Indian,” (NRI), nowhere finds a place in Indian legal lexicon. It is not explicitly defined inasmuch as it is inclusively indicated both in the Indian Income Tax (I-T) Act, 1962 and the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA).

 

Section 6 of the I-T Act considers any “a person as resident in India” as one who has a stay in India for more than 182 days. Section 2(v) of the FEMA, lays down “a person resident in India means a person residing in India for more than 182 days... but does not include any person who has gone out of India or who stays outside India, in either case for taking up employment outside India, or for carrying on outside India a business or vocation or for any other purpose, in such circumstances as would indicate his intention to stay outside India for an uncertain period.” The same criteria conversely apply for anyone who has come to and stays in India.

 

It must be pointed that initially, the tax and exchange benefits were primarily extended to encourage homeward the monies earned by the millions of Indian workers, professionals, salary earners—comprising Indian Diaspora spread far and wide across the globe. More particularly at a time when India was facing very acute shortage of valuable foreign exchange to pay for essential imports to bridge the large forex gaps.

 

The NRIs had then all along preferred to park their funds with the banks abroad as they considered the banking system in America, Europe and Gulf countries to be far safer than that those in India, even when these banks paid relatively lesser rate of interest and charged them for maintaining the accounts. Banks in the Gulf insisted on maintaining large minimum balances in savings accounts and made it imperative for small time depositors to remit most of their earnings through exchange companies to their families back home.

 

Then came the financial meltdown with a collapse of banks, big and small, in the US and its cascading effect in the Eurozone, particularly Iceland and Cyprus, the end of the oil boom in the Middle East, wars in Kuwait and Iraq and collapse of the Dubai real estate boom. This has made parking funds in overseas banks a very risky proposition for NRIs/ PIOs. The public sector banks in India are backed by a tacit sovereign state guarantee and subjected to strict oversight by its banking regulator – the Reserve Bank of India. 

 

Over the last decade the Indian foreign exchange situation has improved considerably with the rupee heavily insulated. Our robust banking system has fortunately been able to withstand the crashes that occurred in Mexico, Argentina and Korea, which had economies almost similar to India.

 

Today, e-banking in India has facilitated operating bank accounts from any remote corner of the world with a click of a mouse without having to physically visit the bank. This has prompted people of Indian origin all over the world to repatriate their funds from their countries to park them back home, into dollar denominated accounts as well, in India.

 

In the light of the changed conditions here, there is a need to initiate a wider public debate on a rethink on the framework to withdraw the special facilities to NRIs by differentiating between the fake or bogus that exploit and abuse the system while at the same time protecting the genuine.

 

First of all, the concept of the period of stay either here or there has to be done away with. Anyone born and brought up in India, is purely of Indian origin, with a family in India, residences, villas and farm houses in many cities besides owning substantial business interests, director/chairmanships in India should be expressly denied the special status.

 

Practically all business tycoons own private Lear jets enabling them to fly in and out of India at will. They bend their stay period to enable them to circumvent the law. This should be prevented by deleting in toto from both the I-T/DTC and FEMA the relevant clauses relating to their stays in and out of the country, mentioned above.

 

Even when required to include and offer for tax in the US their world income, the PIOs there who had not declared substantial interest tax-free earned on their NRE and FCNR accounts with Indian banks have been nabbed by the US IRS. Possibly this is happening in other countries too. Being NRIs they do not also pay Indian taxes. Getting the best of both worlds should not be permitted. They can pay tax in either country to benefit from the Double Taxation Avoidance Treaties that India has signed with most countries that permit them to set off taxes paid in any one country.

 

By ushering the end of the special status, the normally resident Indians masquerading as pseudo NRIs should be stopped from holding accounts in tax havens that can any way be made use by genuine NRIs abroad.

 

With the meltdown in the West and the reverse brain drain arising out of gradual return of our people, the term NRI now assumes a new connotation of Now Returning Indian from the once sarcastic Not Required Indian or Not Reliable Indian!

 

(Nagesh Kini is a Mumbai-based chartered accountant now turned activist.)

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