An Income Tax survey is currently underway for the second day at the Mumbai office of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
The survey being conducted by the Income Tax Department began at around 11 am on Tuesday at the Delhi and Mumbai offices of the BBC. As part of the survey, the phones of employees present in the office were seized. While some employees were held back, many of them were asked to work from home.
“Today, the Income Authorities conducted a survey on the BBC premises in Delhi, in view of the BBC’s deliberate non-compliance with the transfer pricing rules and its vast diversion of profits. It is pertinent to note that the above exercise conducted by the tax authorities, is called “survey” not search/raid as per the provisions of the Income Tax Act. Such surveys are routinely conducted and are not to be confused to be in the nature of a search/raid,” said the I-T Department.
Meanwhile, the broadcaster mentioned that it is “fully cooperating” on the matter. It added that it aims to resolve the situation as soon as possible.
All you need to know about the IT tax survey at BBC offices:
1. The Income Tax officials conducting survey at the Mumbai office of BBC were still inside the premises on Wednesday morning, said sources. The survey is on for the second day.
2. The United States on Tuesday said that they are aware of the survey operation at BBC offices in Delhi and Mumbai by the I-T department. State Department spokesperson Ned Price laid stress on the importance of a free press around the world.
3. “We support the importance of free press around the world. We continue to highlight the importance of freedom of expression and freedom of religion or belief as human rights that contribute to strengthening democracies around the world. It has strengthened this democracy here in this country. It has strengthened India’s democracy,” Price said.
4. On being asked if the action went against some of the spirit or value of democracy, Price said that he couldn’t say. He added that he is not in a position to offer a judgement.
5. Union minister Anurag Thakur, while reacting to tax raids on Tuesday, said that detailed information regarding this will be given soon. “The Income Tax Dept conducts surveys from time to time where irregularities are found, and when survey is completed, they give information. When this survey of IT will be completed, they will give you all that information in detail,” he added.
The survey comes days after a political row kicked off in the country following BBC’s controversial documentary ‘India: The Modi Question’ on Gujarat riots 2022 that has been banned in India.
(With agency inputs)
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