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Business News/ News / India/  BBC acknowledges it paid lower taxes in India

BBC acknowledges it paid lower taxes in India

BBC has been found guilty of tax evasion, admitting it underreported ₹40 crore of income in its tax returns. It needs to file revised returns and pay all dues.

BBC has also acknowledged that it may have paid lower taxes than its liability (REUTERS)Premium
BBC has also acknowledged that it may have paid lower taxes than its liability (REUTERS)

The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) has been found of evading taxes, two CBDT officials told Hindustan Times, Livemint's sister publication.

BBC has also acknowledged that it may have paid lower taxes than its liability. The broadcaster needs to take a formal route to comply by filing revised returns and paying all dues, penalties, and interest.

In a statement, a BBC spokesperson said that the UK broadcaster was cooperating with the tax authorities.

“The BBC is cooperating fully with the Indian tax authorities’ enquiries and will continue to do so. The process is ongoing and will take time to conclude. The BBC of course takes its tax obligations very seriously," it said.

As per the HT report, the UK government-funded broadcaster sent an email to CBDT confessing that it underreported 40 crore of income in its tax returns.

The CBDT officials said that the law is the same for everyone in the country and there is no special dispensation for either a media company or a foreign entity.

"BBC must act as per the stated procedure or face the law. The Department will continue to take action against it until the matter is taken to the logical conclusion," an official said.

The tax department official said that BBC tried to create an impression that the action by the I-T sleuths was a vendetta by the Central government but now the broadcaster has informally accepted, "They were involved in deliberate tax evasion and the action was against their unscrupulous behaviour".

In mid-February, teams from the Income-Tax department were at the BBC office in New Delhi and Mumbai conducting a “survey" for alleged tax evasion. At that time, the officials had alleged that the income and profits disclosed by the organisation's units were "not commensurate with the scale of operations in India".

BBC director-general Tim Davie had told Indian employees that the broadcaster does not have an agenda and we are driven by purpose.

The British government also defended the BBC and its editorial freedom, emphasising the importance of media freedom and freedom of speech in robust democracies.

The Indian government's reaction to the documentary has been strong, and the searches of the BBC's offices in India have been seen by some as an attempt to silence critical voices.


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Updated: 06 Jun 2023, 09:19 PM IST
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