Taking note of the appeal filed by the Income Tax Department, Madras High Court has issued a notice to the Oscar-winning music composer AR Rahman alleged of tax evasion over the income of Rs 3.47 crore.
Madras HC bench comprising of Justice TS Sivagnanam and Justice V Bhavani Subbaroyan has issued a notice to AR Rahman.
Earlier in February, Madras High Court has ordered a stay against the order passed by Commissioner of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Central Excise (CE) directing AR Rahman to pay Rs 6.79 as an arrear and Rs 6.79 as an additional penalty.
The Income Tax Department moved Bombay High Court after Income Tax Appellate Tribunal set aside its proceedings against AR Rahman.
During the hearing, counsel appearing for the IT Department stated that the music composer had signed a contract for three years with a UK-based telecom company, Lebara Mobile to compose ringtones. It was alleged that he had received an income to the tune of Rs 3.47 for the assessment year 2011-2012 which he got transferred directly to AR Rahman Foundation without paying tax in an individual capacity.
“The income, which is taxable, can be transferred to the trust only after due tax deduction and it cannot be transferred directly to the trust as income to a charitable trust is exempted under the Income Tax Act,” said TR Senthil Kumar, senior counsel of the IT department.
Earlier, AR Rahman had approached Income Tax Appellate Tribunal in Chennai. The tribunal in 2019 observed, “There is nothing on record to suggest that it is taxable income in the hands of the assessee (Rahman).”
AR Rahman and his family has founded the AR Rahman Foundation in 2009 aimed at creating opportunities for everyone, especially for underprivileged, through education, leadership building, and music.