The Income Tax department has collected documents pertaining to tenders and award of contracts for its “two pronged” probe into the finances of the Commonwealth Games even as a high-level committee headed by a former CAG goes into allegations of corruption related to the mega sporting event.
The I-T department’s second line of probe will go into deductions under the Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) category which the Organising Committee of the games is expected to cut from the salaries of professionals hired by it like event managers, anchors and other officials.
A special investigation cell of the Finance Ministry has already begun its homework on all the tenders and contracts which have been sourced from various agencies and organisations, sources said.
The department will primarily look for evasion of taxes, if any, by the way of over-invoicing and inflation of prices in the works related to the games including infrastructure projects, procurements and project planning, they said.
The I-T department has got tender documents related to venue development and overlays, image and look, procurement, technology, accreditation, workforce, communication, risk management, finance and accounts, press operations, television rights, project planning and management related to the Commonwealth Games.
It is also looking into financial estimates of real estate firms which have built the infrastructure like the games village buildings and other facilities.
According to the sources, the department has sourced some initial reports of works from the Chief Vigilance Officers (CVOs) of various government departments which were involved in the Commonwealth Games before it initiates its search and survey operations on various stakeholders.
The department will also probe the TDS deductions on salaries paid to the professionals.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) in 2008 had expanded the scope of ‘professionals’ under the Income Tax Act, 1961 which included sportspersons, umpires, referees, coaches, trainers, team physicians and physiotherapists, event managers, commentators, anchors, and sports columnists and categorised their services as ‘professional services.’
Such services are taxed in accordance with Section 194J of the I-T Act.
The apex committee of the overall probes to be conducted by various agencies like the I-T department, CVC, CBI and Enforcement Directorate - constituted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh - is headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) V K Shunglu and will submit its report to him within three months.