THE JUNIOR Doctors’ Association (JDA) here has opposed deduction of income tax from their stipends claiming that junior doctors were bona fide students doing post-graduation.
The Association on Wednesday held a meeting of its members where it was decided to put up a united fight against the wrong practice.
“Junior doctors cannot be called hospital employees. Students are not liable to pay income tax, which is presently being deducted under Section 17 (1) (iv),” JDA president Dr Anand Rai said after the meeting.
The students should either be exempted from tax under Section 10 (16) or if at all they are to be taxed, their income should be treated as that from the other sources and hence they should get exemption in education fees, book allowances, instruments and other study related expenditure, the JDA claims.
“We have now decided to pool in money to hire an advocate and put up an appeal at the interim court of the Income Tax Department,” Dr Rai said adding, “Apart from JDA members at the MGM Medical College here, we are going to include all student members from other four Government medical colleges in the State.”
The junior doctors, who are basically resident surgical officers, are treated as employees by the administration and accordingly paid a ‘salary’ of little over Rs 14,000 per head as against receiving the same amount from the Government under ‘scholarship’ head.
The students pay Rs 35,000 as annual tuition fees apart from their other expenditure. The students are made to fill up a self-assessment form every year by the college, which in turn forwards it to the Income Tax department. “How can they treat our stipend as salary and tax us? That’s is why we have decided to fight the issue,” Dr Rai added.