AR Rahman Gets Madras High Court Notice for Alleged Tax Evasion

IT department alleged that AR Rahman routed his income of over Rs 3 crore to evade tax.

1 min read
Music composer AR Rahman.

Singer-composer AR Rahman has been issued a notice by the Madra High Court in connection with a case filed against him by the Income Tax Department. His charitable trust fund, AR Rahman Foundation, was allegedly used to rout an income of over Rs 3 crore for tax evasion.

According to T R Senthil Kumar, senior standing counsel for the IT department, Rahman received an income of Rs 3.47 crore in the year 2011-12 for composing exclusive ringtones for a UK-based telecom company. The composer allegedly got the payments credited directly to his charitable foundation.

A Times of India report quoted the IT Department counsel who said, “The income which is taxable must be received by Rahman. After due deduction of tax, it can be transferred to the trust. But the same cannot be routed through the trust as income to the charitable trust is exempted under the Income Tax Act.”

The department said that since the charitable trust did not have a licence under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act at that time, the amount of Rs 3.47 crore was taxable income and cannot be considered as foreign contributions, The News Minute reported.

The case dates back to 2015, when the Income Tax Department had first accused Rahman of tax evasion. The music composer had moved the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal in Chennai against the order. In September 2019, the tribunal had set aside the IT proceedings against Rahman and said there was “nothing on record” suggesting the money was taxable.

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