Cong gets fresh IT notice of over Rs 1745 cr

NEW DELHI, Mar 31:
In mounting trouble for the Congress, sources in the party said it has received fresh notices from the Income Tax department, raising a tax demand of Rs 1,745 crore for the assessment years 2014-15 to 2016-17.
With this latest notice, the Income Tax department has raised a total demand of Rs 3,567 crore from the Congress.

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According to sources, the fresh tax notices relate to 2014-15 (Rs 663 crore), 2015-16 (around Rs 664 crore) and 2016-17 (around Rs 417 crore). The authorities have ended the tax exemption available to political parties and have taxed the party for the entire collections, they added.
The Congress has also been taxed for “third-party entries” made in diaries seized from some of its leaders by probe agencies during raids, the sources said.
The main opposition party on Friday said that it has received notices from the I-T department, asking it to pay around Rs 1,823 crore. The tax authorities have already withdrawn Rs 135 crore from the party’s accounts for a tax demand relating to previous years.
The Congress has moved the court against the Rs 135-crore tax demand and the case is likely to come up before the Supreme Court on Monday. The party has failed to get any relief from the High Court of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal in this regard.
Congress leaders have contended that similar third-party entries naming BJP leaders in other diaries have not been levied any tax. They have accused the BJP of indulging in “tax terrorism” and financially crippling the principal opposition party during the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
By doing so, they are disturbing the level playing field during elections, the Congress has alleged. It has also complained to the Election Commission in this regard and urged it to maintain a level playing field.
Meanwhile, the Congress has announced that it will release its manifesto on April 5 and took a swipe at the BJP over it setting up a manifesto committee at the “last moment”.
The BJP on Saturday announced a 27-member committee, which included several Union Ministers and Chief Ministers, headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to prepare its manifesto for the Lok Sabha polls.
Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said that the Congress released its ‘Paanch Nyay’, ‘Pachees Guarantees’ on March 16 and its ‘Ghar Ghar Guarantee’ campaign to distribute eight crore guarantee cards across the country to begin on April 3.
The manifesto will be released on April 5, he said on Saturday.
“The BJP’s manifesto, begun at this last moment, is merely an exercise in ticking boxes. It reflects the contempt with which the party sees the public,” Ramesh alleged.
The Congress manifesto was compiled after carrying out nationwide consultations and after receiving thousands of suggestions via email and our ‘Awaaz Bharat Ki’ website, he said.
The Congress manifesto reflects the voice of the people, he asserted.
“The BJP may try to unsettle the Congress by sending Income Tax claim notices, but the Congress is neither afraid nor slowing down. We are prepared, we will overcome, and we will emerge victorious!” Ramesh asserted.(PTI)

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