The Income Tax Department has sent notices to the two NGOs run by Team Anna member Kiran Bedi to find out whether they are engaged in commercial activities.
“We are not targeting any particular NGO or charitable trust. In fact, we have sent notices to several organisations, including those run by Kiran Bedi. We want to see if any one of these is engaged in commercial activities also,” a senior Finance Ministry official said.
Ms. Bedi, who had founded India Vision Foundation and Navjyoti India Foundation, however, denied that her NGOs were engaged in kind of commercial activity.
“We are not engaged in any commercial activity for profit and every year we have been filing our account statement before the Revenue authorities (sic). We are in this work for making the difference in people’s lives and making them better, self-reliant citizens,” she said.
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) enjoy tax exemptions under the Income Tax Act as they are engaged in charitable activities.
Ms. Bedi, a former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, is a key member of Anna Hazare’s team which has launched the anti-corruption crusade and is fighting for an effective Lokpal Bill.
Ms. Bedi was in the news recently for allegedly inflating travel bills and overcharging hosts.
nother key member of Team Anna, Arvind Kejriwal had received income tax notice for clearing dues to the tune of Rs 9.27 lakh. He was to reply to the notice by October 27, but has sought more time.
According to the tax official, “the Department has given him enough time. But it is for the Chief Commissioner concerned to take a call on the request (for more time).”
Mr. Kejriwal, a former Indian Revenue Service (IRS) official, was asked to pay Rs 9.27 lakh for violating the service rules by not fulfilling the bond conditions which required him to serve the Department for three years.
According to the tax official, Mr. Kejriwal went abroad on a two-year study leave between 2000 and 2002. Thereafter, in 2004 he went on leave-without-pay and resigned in 2006, the official said, adding Mr. Kejriwal did not complete the three-year service period.