Commissioner of Income Tax rejects NDTV’s application for stay on tax demand, instructs to pay Rs 131 crores

Amidst murmurs that the tax department is going easy on New Delhi Television Company (NDTV), news has now emerged that NDTV’s tax woes are, in fact, increasing. In a filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) late last night, NDTV informed the bourses that their application for stay on a tax demand was rejected by the Principal Commissioner of Income Tax.

The filing by NDTV stated that the company had received an order from the Principal Commissioner of Income Tax, rejecting the application for stay of demand and directing the Company to pay Rs. 131.04 crores, partly by way of adjustment of refund of Rs. 23 crores and partly in 3 installments payable on 15th April, 15th May and 15th June 2018 of Rs. 36 crores, 36 crores and Rs. 36.04 crores respectively.

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It may be recollected that NDTV had earlier received an order under section 271(1)(c) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 from the Income Tax Department levying penalty of Rs. 436.80 crores for the assessment year 2009-10. NDTV had the filed a Writ Petition before the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi (High Court) against the above said order issued. The High Court had refused to intervene and had directed NDTV to file an appeal before the Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) and to approach the Assessing Officer for stay of the penalty order.

Now, the Principal Commissioner of Income Tax, has rejected this application for stay of demand. With this, the Commissioner has directed NDTV to pay 30% of the total demand i.e. 30% of Rs 436.80 crores, in a staggered manner, by 15th June 2018. It remains to be seen how a perennially loss making entity like NDTV will pay up.

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