He may have managed to emerge relatively unscathed from a scandal involving an MMS clip, but Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi is now battling the Income Tax department which claims he has avoided declaring Rs 22 crore, while the lawyer claims he made earned half the amount.
According to a report in the Indian Express, Singhvi has gone to the Income Tax Settlement Commission (ITSC) seeking immunity after already having declared an income of around Rs 11 crore for which he has paid a penalty of Rs three crore as tax for the assessment year of 2010-11.
While Singhvi has blamed an "error in computation and laxity" on the part of people who maintained his accounts, the Income Tax department seems to be less inclined to believe him, and says that he had an income of Rs 22 crore and was liable to pay Rs seven crore as tax.
The Income Tax Department believes that Singhvi may have undeclared income from previous years and is digging into the lawyer's earlier tax returns. Singhvi's woes began when the Financial Intelligence Unit had highlighted 17 suspicious transactions, in which cash withdrawals were made to the tune of Rs 120 crore from Singhvi's bank accounts, due to which notices were issued to him.
While sources in the Central Board of Direct Taxes said that there were irregularities in billing and expenses, that could result in authorities opening his income tax records from 2006, the lawyer isn't too pleased about this possible development.
Singhvi has contested the opening of his prior tax records and may have good reason to do so. If found guilty of not making a full disclosure, the Supreme Court lawyer could have to pay up to 300 percent of the tax that he is deemed guilty of trying to evade and could also face upto seven years in jail.
The ITSC has deemed Singhvi's application valid and is seeking a report from the Income Tax department and is expected to pass its final order within 18 months.
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Updated Date: Jun 18, 2013 12:32:05 IST