Sania Mirza may not appear before service tax department over alleged tax evasion
Ace Tennis star Sania Mirza who has been issued summons by the Commissioner of Service Tax in Hyderabad, in connection with an investigation against alleged non-payment/evasion of Service Tax, may not appear before the competent authority in person as she is travelling.
According to sources a representative will appear before the authorities in her absence on 16 February.
The future course of action on whether to pay tax or contest the claims by the Service Tax Department will be decided after the meeting between the officials and her representative.
The Principal Commissioner of the Service Tax office here issued the summons to the tennis star on February 6, asking her to appear before it in person or through an authorised agent on 16 February.
"She has gone to Australia. From there she will be travelling to USA. So she may not appear before the authorities. So there was request form them (Sania Mirza) that one of her representative will appear on her behalf," sources told PTI on condition of anonymity.
The notice from the Service Tax Department said if she fails to comply with the summons and intentionally avoid to attend or to give evidence and to produce the documents and things, without a lawful excuse, she will be "liable to be punished under the relevant provisions of IPC".
According to sources, Sania is due for payment of service tax on the amount of Rs 1 crore she received from the Telangana government after being appointed its 'Brand Ambassador'.
"This amount she received for being 'Brand Ambassador' falls under the Service Tax purview and it is due for Service Tax payment," they had said adding "Rs 1 crore amount attracts Service Tax of 14.5 per cent besides interest, and penalty has also to be paid on the Service Tax."
In July 2014, the Telangana Government had announced that Sania would be Telangana's brand ambassador, and gave her Rs 1 crore towards preparations for major tournaments.
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Justice Rekha Palli further said that if warranted, the Union Sports Ministry may look into the affairs of the TTFI as well.