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Talwalkar director behind bars for non-payment of Rs 2.85 cr service tax

The tax amount was due between September 2008 and December 2012

The director of well-known fitness brand Talwalkars Fitness Solution has been arrested for tax evasion. Rohit Talwalkar was arrested on Wednesday and produced at the Esplanade Court yesterday, where the judge remanded him in judicial custody for 14 days.

On Wednesday, officials of the Service Tax-1 department arrested Talwalkar for defaulting on payment of service tax to the tune of Rs 2.85 crore, between September 2008 and December 2012. “Talwalkar has collected service tax, but has not paid to the department. We have arrested him. The matter is being investigated,” said Sushil Solanki, commissioner, Service Tax-1.

According to service tax officials, investigating officials found that the company runs gymnasiums and fitness centres at 12 locations in the state, including Mumbai, Nashik, Panvel and Baroda, Ahmedabad and Surat. The company takes payments only in advance. The company has been collecting service tax from its customers since September 2008, but hasn’t paid the same to the service tax department.

The amount was collected between September 2008 and December 2012, and amounts to Rs 2.85 crore. An additional penalty of more than Rs 50 lakh will be levied on the company, as it has not paid taxes in spite of declaring itself under the VCES scheme introduced by the government, in which the government scheme, where 50 per cent of the service tax dues were required to be paid prior to December 31, 2013. Talwalkar has been arrested under Section 91 of the Service Tax Act. If proved guilty of charges, he may face imprisonment of upto three years.

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