Income Tax (IT) authorities have slapped prosecution notice on Naresh Goyal-promoted Jet Airways for TDS (Tax Deduction at Source)payments default, official sources said today. The notice was served to the Mumbai-headquartered airline after tax men said they have detected "several irregularties" in the TDS payments by the private carrier.
"We have issued prosecution notice to Jet Airways for TDS default for the previous three fiscals-2008, 2009 and 2010 as well as for the on-going financial year," the sources said.
These notices are apart from the two notices issued to Jet Airways earlier for delay in TDS payments during 2013 and
2014, they said.
The airline has paid the TDS but mostly after the scheduled payment date, the sources said, adding it has, however, sought compounding against these defaults.
Jet Airways, in its response, said it was up-to-date on TDS payments and that it was discussing the (notice)issue with the tax authorities. "Jet Airways (India) Limited has paid all of its TDS dues, including interest, to the Income Tax authorities. As of date there is no TDS amount overdue for payment.
"Since Jet Airways is in dialogue with the Income Tax authorities, it is inappropriate for Jet to comment any further," a Jet Airways spokeperson said in an e-mail response to PTI. As per the rule, retention of the government dues beyond the scheduled payment date is an offence liable for prosecution under Section 276B of the Income Tax Act, 1961 and the defaulter, if convicted, can be sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for up to seven years.
Under the Compounding of offences provision, an assessee can, instead of serving an imprisonment term, pay a fee to the tax authorities and waive prosecution charges. The mandate to accept or reject compounding rests with the the Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, under the Income Tax Act, 1961. Such compounding can be done either before or after the institution of prosecution proceedings.