The Income Tax (IT) department has slapped an order of Rs 100 crore tax liability against Congress supreme leaders Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi. According to an IT order following a reassessment of their incomes relating to Associated Journals Limited (AJL), both the leaders had “escaped” income to the tune of hundreds of crores in 2011-12.
This “escaped” income was pegged at Rs 155.4 crore and Rs 155 crore for Sonia and Rahul respectively for the same year. This income is over what was declared, according to the order. For the assessment year, Rahul had filed a return of income declaring Rs 68.1 lakh. Income of his party colleague Oscar Fernandes was Rs 48.9 crore, said I-T sources.
The Supreme Court is hearing an appeal of Congress leaders against the reopening of their tax assessment. Appearing for Sonia, former union minister P Chidambaram said a tax liability of Rs 44 crore against her had been erroneously imposed after reassessing her income. He said that assessing officers had concluded that Rs 141 crore of her income relating to AJL “escaped” as she did not declare it in filing her return.
It must be noted that the assessment order was passed on December 31 against Sonia, Rahul and Fernandes after reassessing their income for 2011-12. These were kept in abeyance as the court examines the validity of I-T department action.
The Congress leaders have said that they were under no legal obligation to share details of Young India shares as those were not “interest” in a company, said the report. They had claimed shareholding in YI, which is a non-profit and charitable company, cannot result in any interest that needs disclosure as the shareholder does not receive dividends or interest in the property of such a company.