Consultancy services taken from the elite Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) have come under the tax scanner as a country-wide Income Tax department probe has found that these transactions often escape the tax net.
Officials say high sums are being paid in cash to IIT and IIM faculty members as fees for their professional advice without tax being deducted at source (TDS). “It has been seen that some of the IIT and IIM faculty members, in lieu of providing high-level of technical and management consultancy, charge high fees and often it is accepted in cash rather through cheques,” an I-T official said.
“As a result, the income earned by the individual evades TDS,” the official claimed.
According to the department source, the I-T department conducted an assessment study and found that IIT and IIM faculty members provide consultancy services to private companies, government organisations and public sector undertakings.
However, these premier institutes have a different take on this issue.
“We’ve strict specified norms under which no faculty member can provide consultancy services in a personal capacity and payments are received in the name of the institute through cheques only," Samir Kumar Barua, director, IIM Ahmedabad, told HT.
Sharing a similar view, IIM, Indore director, N Ravichandran said: “Providing consultancy in personal capacity is violation of IIM norms and official records are kept for all the payments received. If an IIM graduate and not a faculty member is providing consultancy and accepting fee in cash, IIM is in no way responsible.”