BBC Admits Tax Evasion in India, Pledges to Pay Rs 40 Crores in Arrears

BBC Admits Tax Evasion in India, Commits to Pay Rs 40 Crores in Arrears, Pending Official Filings

New Delhi, TNI Bureau: The BBC has admitted to evading taxes in India and has pledged to pay Rs 40 crores in tax arrears. However, according to tax sources, the BBC has only expressed its intention to pay and has not yet filed revised returns or provided a written commitment to the Tax Authorities. The BBC’s tax evasion spanned from 2016 to 2022, and the Indian tax authorities conducted a three-day survey at the BBC offices in February 2023. The Finance Ministry issued a statement after the survey, revealing the extent of the tax fraud committed by the BBC without explicitly naming the company. The statement highlighted discrepancies between the income/profits reported by various BBC India group entities and their substantial operations in India.

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The survey found evidence of undisclosed income through unreported remittances made by BBC India to its foreign offices for utilizing the services of seconded or temporary employees. The BBC also evaded withholding tax on these remittances. In addition, the survey revealed discrepancies and inconsistencies in Transfer Pricing documentation, including incorrect use of comparables and inadequate revenue apportionment. The Finance Ministry emphasized that crucial evidence, including statements from employees and digital documents, was collected during the survey and will be examined further. It is worth noting that the BBC has a history of tax evasion, as highlighted in a 2012 report from the United Kingdom’s public accounts committee.

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