I-T department notice says Sonia and Rahul Gandhi evaded around Rs 100 crores tax in 2011-12

According to a notice by the I-T department, former Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi have evaded tax to the tune of around Rs 100 crores in 2011-12. the I-T department claimed that Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi had ‘escaped’ incomes — i.e. above what was declared — of Rs 155 crores and Rs 155.4 crores respectively. The order passed after reassessing their incomes relating to Associated Journals Ltd.

As per the I-T reassessment order, more than Rs 300 crore of Gandhis’ income “escaped” and their tax liability is around Rs 100 crore. Also as per the reassessment order, income of Congress leader Oscar Fernandes has been found to be Rs 48.93 crore, according to sources in I-T department.

Representing Sonia Gandhi, in an appeal to the Supreme Court against re-opening of her tax assessment, P Chidambaram said that the assessing officers concluded that Rs 141 crore of her income related to the case was ‘escaped’ without application of mind as she hadn’t declared it while filing her return.

Challenging re-opening of the tax assessment before a bench headed by Justice A K Sikri, Chidambaram said I-T officials decision defied “common sense” as the department concluded she had “escaped income” of Rs 141 crore for getting 1,900 shares in a Non-profitable Organisation ‘Young Indian’.

The Gandhis have argued they are under no legal obligation to disclose details of acquiring shares in YI since such shareholding is not “interest” in a company. They had claimed shareholding in YI, being a non-profit and charitable company, cannot result in any interest that needs disclosure as neither a director nor shareholder has any right to receive dividends in, or interest in the property of such a company.

(With inputs from agencies)