The Income Tax department has issued new notices to the Congress party, demanding payment totaling Rs 3,567 crore for assessment years ranging from 2014-15 to 2016-17. This adds to the existing demand for assessment years 1994-95 and 2017-18 to 2020-21, bringing the cumulative amount under scrutiny to Rs 3,567 crore.

Details of the Notices

The fresh notices were received on Friday evening, as reported by The Indian Express, citing sources within the Congress party. The notices pertain to assessment years spanning from 2014-15 to 2016-17, adding to the existing demand for other assessment years.

Congress Response and Nationwide Protests

In response to the fresh notices, the Congress party staged nationwide protests, condemning what it termed as “tax terrorism” by the Centre. Party leaders emphasized that they would not succumb to pressure and challenged the legitimacy of the tax demands.

Background and Previous Notices

The Congress party has been grappling with tax-related issues since before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections when Income Tax department raids uncovered alleged unaccounted transactions amounting to Rs 523.87 crore. Subsequently, a series of notices have been issued, escalating the financial scrutiny on the party.

Legal Battles and Appeals

Despite legal challenges mounted by the Congress party, including appeals before the Delhi High Court and the Income-Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT), the efforts to contest the tax demands have been largely unsuccessful. The dismissal of their challenge by the Delhi High Court and the denial of their appeal by the ITAT have added to the party’s legal setbacks.

Allegations and Counterclaims

While the Congress accuses the Income Tax department of harassment and intimidation through what it terms as “tax terrorism,” the BJP contends that the opposition party is misrepresenting the situation. The BJP alleges instances of tax fraud and financial irregularities within the Congress party.

Political Fallout and Criticism

The ongoing tax controversy has sparked political repercussions, with leaders from both sides engaging in verbal sparring. Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar expressed shock at receiving an income tax notice, raising questions about the department’s handling of tax issues involving BJP leaders.

Protest Actions Across the Country

The Congress party’s protest actions have extended nationwide, with demonstrations held in various states. In New Delhi, the Indian Youth Congress organized a march to protest against alleged harassment under the guise of tax rules. Similarly, in Thiruvananthapuram, the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee organized a protest, accusing the BJP of financially suffocating the Congress.

Continued Turbulence in Political Landscape

The escalating tax dispute between the Congress party and the Income Tax department underscores the turbulent political landscape in India. As both sides dig in their heels, the standoff shows no signs of abating, with legal battles and public protests shaping the narrative of tax scrutiny and political accountability.

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Saiba Verma, an accomplished editor with a focus on finance and market trends, contributes to Atom News with a dedication to providing insightful and accurate business news. Saiba Verma analytical approach adds depth to our coverage, keeping our audience well-informed.