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I-T notice to Bihar district magistrate: Pay up Rs 74L tax or face ‘attachment of treasury’

If, indeed, the treasury and bank accounts of the district are “attached” by the income tax authorities, it would bring all financial activity to a standstill and paralyse the functioning of the Kaimur district administration.

india Updated: Nov 05, 2017 19:57 IST
Prasun K Mishra
Prasun K Mishra
Hindustan Times, Bhabua
DM Kaimur,Rajeshwar Prasad Singh,I-T liability
FACING THE MUSIC: Rajeshwar Prasad Singh, district magistrate (DM) of Kaimur district in Bihar. (File photo)

The district magistrate (DM) of Kaimur district in south western Bihar is in trouble with the income tax authorities for his failure to pay up a huge tax liability assessed on the official TAN (Tax Deduction and Collection Account Number) of ‘District Magistrate, Kaimur’.

The Income Tax (I-T) department has issued notice to DM, Kaimur, demanding Rs 74.34 lakh in outstanding arrear. The authorities have failed to pay up the sum demanded despite several reminders from the department.

Now, the department has warned the Kaimur DM that it would “attach” the district treasury (of which the DM is head as collector of the district) and the official bank accounts of the district, under the provisions of the Income Tax Act, if the DM still did not comply with the order.

IIf, indeed, the treasury and bank accounts of the district are “attached” by the income tax authorities, it would bring all financial activity to a standstill and paralyse the functioning of the Kaimur district administration.

The notice, issued by income tax officer, TDS (Tax Deducted at Sources) circle, Gaya, Pramod Kumar (a copy of the same is available with HT), said that the DM could not deposit Rs 74,33,970 in outstanding arrears, as demanded.

The department has sent several reminders for depositing the amount. Alternatively, it has asked the Kaimur DM to file an online correction (for certain errors in filing returns, which may have led to assessment of the huge liability).

Giving the last opportunity of being heard, on November 13, the notice said, “please explain as to why you should not be treated as assessee in default under Section 220 (1) of the Income Tax act, 1961 and recovery proceeding should not be initiated against you”.

In case of non-compliance, necessary action would be started from November 14, the notice said.

Reached for a reaction, TDS officer Pramod Kumar declined comment.

Inquiries by HT revealed while other departments in Kaimur district had their own, separate TAN numbers, Election, Panchayati Raj and Land acquisition departments were filing their returns on the TAN number of DM, Kaimur.

Kaimur DM Rajeshwar Prasad Singh told HT the huge I-T demand had been made mainly on alleged non-deposition with the department of TDS deducted by the Kaimur authorities on monetary compensation paid to farmer for acquisition of their land.

“This is outcome mainly of the erratic and faulty returns filed by officials of the departments concerned between 2012 and 2014 and their failure to rectify the errors that caused the I-T authorities to slap the huge demand”, DM Singh said.

Singh said the officials would meet over the next five days to rectify the errors and file corrected returns which may make the tax liability go away. “If they fail to do so, officials will be held individually liable to meet the I-T demand”, he said.

First Published: Nov 05, 2017 19:57 IST