SpiceJet Under I-T Scanner for Suspected TDS Violations

Low cost airline SpiceJet is under the scanner of Income Tax Department for suspected violations of TDS (tax deducted at source) and distribution of Form-16 to its employees, a top CBDT official said today.

"There are some violations that we are looking into. Action is to recover the tax, then penal interest and some penalty will also be there," CBDT chairman K V Chowdary told reporters here.

He was responding to the queries on reports of non- disbursement of Form-16 by the Kalanithi Maran-controlled, loss-making carrier.

Chowdary declined to reveal the amount due by the airline to the I-T Department saying that "it is not appropriate to disclose the amount".

On reports that the airline was yet to pay the Income Tax department the tax collected from its employees, a SpiceJet spokesperson had earlier said: "These matters are privileged and cannot be discussed in the media. We are well aware of our obligations under the applicable law but we are answerable only to the appropriate statutory authorities."

The department is currently looking into "violations of TDS", Chowdary said.

Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has also ordered an engineering audit of the airline after the carrier is said to have found it difficult to provide equipment to operate some flights.

Replying to a query on Nokia tax issue, Chowdary said it was pending before courts and assessing officials of the I-T Department.

"The (Nokia) matter is partly still pending before court and partly pending before the assessing officers. If there are no stays by any court before the end of this year all the assessments will be completed," the taxman said.

Nokia, which completed sale of its handset business to Microsoft for over USD 7.2 billion, could not sell its Chennai manufacturing plant to the software giant as it is embroiled in a tax dispute with the I-T Department and the Tamil Nadu government.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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