IT dept clarifies over notices to Durga Puja

Senior TMC leader and state’s Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya said that income tax cannot be imposed on places of worship and accused BJP of trying to capture Durga Pujas. AFP File photo

Banga Janani Brigade, women’s wing of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Tuesday held a protest in Kolkata, against the issue of Income Tax (IT) Department notices to several major Durga Puja committees in Kolkata.

Senior TMC leader and state’s Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya said that income tax cannot be imposed on places of worship and accused BJP of trying to capture Durga Pujas.

State BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu alleged that money from chit funds are being used in several Durga Pujas where TMC Ministers are involved.

“We have no intention of capturing Durga Pujas. Every day several Durga Puja committees are approaching us to save themselves from the atrocities of the state government,” said Basu.

However, the IT Department in a statement issued later in the denied issuing any notices to Durga Puja committees.

"CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes) rebuts incorrect reports in media about Income Tax notices issued to Durga Puja Committees in Kolkata recently. The said reports are factually incorrect and are strongly denied. No notice was issued to the Durga Puja Committee Forum by the Department during this year," the Income Tax Department stated in a tweet. 

However, the department admitted to serving notices to contractors working for Durga Puja committees. Many of them did not pay taxes, and hence notices were issued to about 30 puja committees asking the details of tax deduction at source on payments to these contractors, clarified Surabhi Ahluwalia, Commissioner of Income Tax (Media and Technical Policy) and official spokesperson of CBDT, in a statement.

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