The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has claimed mismatch in AAP’s actual and reported donations to the Election Commission (EC). It has also pointed that it was in violation of the Representation of the People Act, according to Indian Express report. In a letter dated January 3, CBDT chairman Sushil Chandra has written to Chief Election Commissioner A K Joti informing him of the adverse assessment order on AAP’s finances for the financial year 2014-15 (assessment year 2015-16). The missive states that the party contravened provisions of Section 29(C) of the RP Act.
The section deals with declaration of political funding to the government and mandates that all political parties should disclose details of donations, in excess of Rs 20,000, received from individuals and companies. A violation of this provision excludes the political party from any tax relief on its income under the Act. The AAP was slapped with a notice by the income tax department on November 27 last year. The party responded by claiming that the order was an attempt by the Centre to “crush the Opposition”.
The IT department, based on its assessment, had determined Rs 68.44 crore as the total taxable income of the party for 2015-16. The notice issued to AAP levied Rs 30.67 crore of tax on this income.
Chandra’s letter to Joti lists all findings of the assessment order on AAP’s income, including that the names and addresses of the party donors behind Rs 13.16 crore of audited income and expenditure accounts were not disclosed. The assessment order also states that AAP allegedly did not record the details of over 450 donors contributing more than Rs 20,000 each, who collectively donated Rs 6.26 crore. Additionally, the assessment order allegedly found Rs 2 crore worth of hawala entries as voluntary donations apart from non-disclosure of Rs 36.95 crore on its website.
Earlier in November, the Income Tax Department had served a Rs 30.67 crore tax notice to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) over donations received by the party. The notice had cited that the AAP had not disclosed income worth Rs 13.16 crore. It said the party’s total taxable income calculated by it was Rs 68.44 crore for the financial years 2014-15 and 2015-16.
The notice pointed out that the [arty had failed to register disclose income worth Rs 13.16 crore and that its taxable income stood at Rs 68.44 crore for the year 2014-15 and 2015-16. The notice said the AAP had not recorded full details of at least 461 donors who had donated Rs 6.26 crore, each donation amount exceeding Rs 20,000.