New Delhi: The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Tuesday rebutted all the reports that claimed that Income Tax notices were being issued to Durga Puja committees in Kolkata. An official statement read: “It is unequivocally stated that the said reports are factually incorrect and are strongly denied. It is a fact that no notice was issued to the Durga Puja Committee Forum by the Department during this year.”

However, notices were issued to several contractors of the Puja committees who evaded their taxes, clarified the CBDT. On December 2018, about 30 committees were given the IT notice under section 133(6) of the Income Tax Act 1961. This step was undertaken by the Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) wing of the Department to ensure that the contractors and event managers paid their due taxes in time.

The CBDT department was conducting an investigation to obtain the details of the tax deducted at source on payments made to contractors and event managers engaged by the committees for the Puja event. A statement said, “This was part of an exercise carried out by the TDS wing of the Department to ensure that the contractors and event managers pay their due taxes in time. Many of the committees complied and furnished evidence of tax deducted at source as well as a deposit of the same into the government account.”

“It is reiterated that the exercise is in no manner whatsoever against the Puja Committees, but has been undertaken to ensure that the contractors and event managers pay their due taxes correctly within the stipulated time,” it added.

To clarify the doubts of Durga Puja Committees members regarding the provisions of TDS, an outreach program was organised on the July 16.  Nearly eight Forum members participated in the educational session voluntarily and cleared their doubts pertaining to the TDS provisions.