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TDS scam

TDS scam

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  8 March 2018 12:00 AM GMT

As if bank scams are not enough, the country may soon witness a burgeoning TDS (tax deducted at source) scam that is bad news for private sector salaried workers. It transpires that in the April 2017-March 2018 period, 447 companies failed to deposit TDS collected from employees (after deducting from their salaries) — totalling about Rs 3,200 crore — with the Income Tax department. Was it just a mere failure to do so on time by employers, or was serious malfeasance involved? It is being suspected that the firms in question diverted the TDS funds to further their business interests, mostly as working capital. Not just little known entities or start-ups, even established companies, infrastructure firms, movie production houses and the like are reportedly in the list of offenders. Under Section 276(B) of Income Tax Act, failure to deposit employees’ TDS with the government can attract rigorous jail term up to 7 years, along with fine. There is also scope to add IPC sections on cheating and crimil breach of trust, along with attaching bank accounts and movable/immovable assets of offenders. Private sector employees in the country being an increasingly vulnerable lot, the I-T department should get to the bottom of such scam and take stringent action. The government should also ensure that workers across the country are alerted by an effective system, like the SMS alerts with which employees can match their salary slip with sums deducted as TDS.

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