TDS prosecution notices only in 50 ‘big’ cases

NEW DELHI: The Income Tax department has said its Mumbai TDS office has issued prosecution notices in 50 “big” cases in the past one month where TDS has been deducted but not deposited with the government.

Refuting media reports that the Mumbai Income Tax TDS office has en masse issued prosecution notice to small companies for default, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said prosecutions have been launched against four big business houses where more than Rs 50 crore of tax was collected from the taxpayers but not deposited with the government in time.

In the last one month, only in 50 big cases prosecution notices have been issued by Mumbai IT TDS office. Out of these, in 80 per cent of the cases the TDS tax default is above Rs 10 lakh and in 10 per cent cases, TDS default is between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh.

In the remaining 10 per cent cases, TDS default is of more than Rs 1 crore as detected in the survey, the CBDT said in a statement.

But such legal and rightful action is being unfortunately projected in the media by the vested interests as if the department is going overboard to harass small employers, the CBDT said.

It said that deducting taxes from employees and other taxpayers and not depositing the same in time in the government treasury is an offence punishable under the law.

It also affects interest of the employees from whose salary the tax has been deducted by the unscrupulous employers who have not deposited the same in time in the government treasury, the CBDT said.

If the TDS is not deposited in time, the employee would be ineligible for claiming credit of the tax deducted when he files his own return, it added.

The CBDT said in a country of 130 crore people where around 6 crore returns are filed every year, only a total of 1,400 prosecutions have been filed so far for various offences under the Income Tax Act during this financial year.

This, by any stretch of imagination, cannot be termed as mass harassment by the Income Tax department. Therefore, to say that prosecution notices en masse have been sent to taxpayers for minor defaults is completely incorrect and misleading, the CBDT added. PTI

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